Why our education is falling behind: lazy students

Lisa Zehner

There’s lazy, and then there is laaaazy.

On Tuesday, though many University of Minnesota students likely struggled to get up for their a.m. class, one student in particular went the extra mile and decided to lie about a bomb threat in the building her class is held in.

The female student, who has yet to be named and probably for good causes, called in to the University’s police department at 7 a.m., and said she overheard three Somali males talking about a bomb threat in Anderson Hall and the Hubert H. Humphrey Center.

For a little while, it looked like the unnamed bum would get her way, as the police evacuated Anderson Hall, students slowly filed out of the building, dazed and confused. Deputy Police Chief Chuck Miner told the Daily that about a dozen cops responded and even bomb-sniffing dogs were on their way. All those wasted tax dollars going to work on a false threat.

Police even started to evacuate Hubert H. Humphrey Center, which was oddly included in the threat.

Unfortunately for the bum, she probably didn’t realize she would have to file a police report, and when she started to reenact her witness to overhearing those "big bad" Somalis talking about their bombs, police quickly found she was lying through her teeth. The whole thing was false and lazy, and demeaning in many ways to the Somali community in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, where the classroom building is located on the West Bank of campus.

This is a trend at many universities and colleges all around the country. Students doing just enough to get by in class, disinterested in their study because it doesn’t apply to their passions or the career path they are ready for. And because of this, the concept of vocational schools and technical colleges that focus the study on strict application and hands on learning is much more appealing to many students. But these students still choose a university because of its prestige and credibility. So we ask, why can’t  four-year school programs be designed to tailor more toward a specific career path? A hybrid between liberal education and vocational-type learning.

It seems at the University of Minnesota, students suffer from having to take too many general classes and too few classes that are specific to their majors. And then they wonder why we call in bomb threats?

Why not have students that are sure of their career paths or majors be required to take fewer general credits than the “I am just in college because my parents said it was good for me” students.

If our universities restructured the way they teach and made the learning more useful and specific, our education would improve tenfold. University of Virginia recently released a report saying that America is no longer a top 10 most educated country in the world and is now one of the few nations in which young adults are less “well-educated” than middle-aged adults. That’s right, our higher education has become that worthless.

The report suggests that we all work together, but doesn’t provide actual direct answers. It’s ironic that the report comes from a high ed institution in the U.S., so really it’s probably not very credible. So being the less educated students at a public university that we are, we won’t offer any answers either. But one thing we do know is that the answer isn’t to decrease funding for a school or put a freeze on hiring staff and faculty (wink, wink Bob Bruininks). So if a storm of change is coming from the new presidency and on, it has to start with education. Otherwise, that’s where it all ends.