Yudof urges new class to seek balance

David Anderson

A large research university can be an especially daunting place for new undergraduates, but University President Mark Yudof has offered some advice to quell student concerns.
The president stressed that new students need to make the most of their time at the University and encouraged them to seek help when needed.
“I’d tell (freshmen) to make sure that they keep their life in balance between their academic responsibilities and their social lives outside of the classroom,” Yudof said.
The admissions office expects 4,700 incoming freshmen to arrive on campus in the fall.
Yudof said these new students should take advantage of seminar courses or pick a favorite professor to serve as their mentor at the University. Students should also refer to resources and advisers available on campus for help in making the right decisions, he suggested.
Joining an organization or an activity group such as the marching band can help new students adjust to life on a large campus, he said.
“It’s very important to try to reduce the scale of the University so that you can make friends with a somewhat smaller group,” he said.
Yudof added students should look to their families for support.
Keeping problems in perspective
As students are forced to dodge jackhammers and cranes to get around campus because of extensive construction, Yudof expressed concern about how the class of 2004 will respond to the issue.
“I think in the short term (students) won’t be happy,” he said. “We’ll be finishing these projects, and their lives on campus will be better because (Walter Library) will work better and will be more attractive, and the services will be better-delivered.”
As for finances, Yudof said tuition levels are largely dictated by the state Legislature, which will meet in January 2001 to discuss public funding for the University.
If the Legislature approves the University’s budget request, the president said he hopes to keep tuition increases at pace with the rate of inflation.
“The first three years I was here, we kept the increases to about 3 percent,” Yudof said. “That’s what I’d like to go back to, and that’s my hope and my expectation.”
But, above all, students should relish the years they spend at the University, Yudof said.
“Really enjoy your experience,” he said. “I mean, this is the most wonderful time in their lives, and it’s really a point at which their autonomy sort of matches up with their maturity level.”

David Anderson covers University communities and welcomes comments at [email protected]