WU 101: Experience or Flop

Gabriela Rodriguez, [email protected] washburn.edu, is a freshman nursing major

As students settle into another new year, many find that back-to-school discussions consist of what classes they have and their first impressions of those classes.

This is especially true for the freshman getting their first taste of higher education. Though majors and areas of interest might differ, one course serves as a common bond between freshmen – WU 101.

Even after a few weeks into the academic year, WU 101 seems to continue to be a popular conversation for all those currently enrolled in the class. Many students have expressed that they are less than thrilled about having the course forced into their schedule, and that they feel it is a waste of tuition money.

“I don’t support the class being mandatory because it’s supposed to be a success course and I’m not learning how to be successful yet,” said freshman Daniel Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is not the only student who feels that this class is not beneficial to the general freshman population.

Many students have reported feeling that they’d rather spend their time and money on a class that will count towards their major, or a class that just simply interests them.

“The class should be voluntary because some people just feel like they are wasting their time in there, and that is how I feel about it right now too,” said Rodriguez.

However, though the reaction seems to be mostly negative toward the WU 101 class, the faculty is very steadfast in the belief that this class will prove useful to all that take part.

Faculty lead and librarian Brendan Fay is a current instructor of the Washburn Experience class, and believes that students just need to give the course a little time to work.

“We’re giving students a lot of tips and suggestions on how to make the most out of their first year of college,” said Fay. “Whether it is more sophisticated things like searching for things on the internet and how to use the library, as well as more basic things like how to manage time and study well.”

Fay recalls that not having a class such as the WU 101 course while he was in college affected his overall success in the beginning of his college career.

He says to his his students that they knowledge gleaned from the course will help them on campus and in the post-graduation world as well.

“I think it is very important that the class is mandatory,” said Fay.

He adds that every student has their strengths, but that no student is completely proficient in every field.

Despite the faculty’s reassurance that the class is not without merit, most students are still unconvinced.

“I don’t think the class should be mandatory because we’re spending a lot of money to learn basic things that most of us already know,” said electrical engineering, business management and marketing triple major freshman Martin Kutina.

Kutina, like others, has come to think of the class as a joke and was even more angered that he was required to buy a 65-dollar textbook, which has barely been used thus far in the semester.

Whether enrolled in the class or not, many students have likely heard something about the infamous WU 101 course. Though many of the freshman are unhappy with being forced to enroll in the class, it is easy to argue that a student will take away what they put into the class and that their opinions very well may change as the semester progresses.

Ultimately, only time will tell whether the Washburn First Year Experience class is really worth what the students are paying for it, and if anyone really benefits for the material being taught.