Have you heard? Ramapo is completely revamping its housing system for freshmen and sophomores. If you haven't received a confusing e-mail from Residence Life or heard from your presumably angry friends about it already, let me attempt to explain.
Ramapo first announced it would be introducing a new system, called "Campus Engagement Points," in an e-mail sent out in October. It was briefly mentioned that points would have an impact on the housing selection process. From October until February, there was no mention of the points other than events that would give points for attendance, leaving students unaware of their significance. It was not until March 4th that Residence Life had updated their website explaining how the Fall 2013 housing process would work, but still the points were not made clear.
Under the freshmen and sophomore section of the housing process website, it states "your class status is determined by the number of earned credits by the end of the Fall 2012 semester." There is no indication here that the "class status" lumps all sophomores together as though they had earned the same number of credits. In previous years, being a sophomore meant earning 32-64 credits by the fall of the current year and a group's housing time was based on the student with the highest number of credits within the group. The Residence Life website does state that admittance times will then be based on housing points, but they make it sound more like a tie-breaker than the only criteria for housing selection.
For example, if there are two groups of sophomores, group A who has 62 credits and group B who has 50 credits, they are lumped together under sophomore class status. Group A has 36 points and group B has 45 points. In the end, group B gets an earlier admission time as they have more points, despite group A having more credits.
The reason that this has become a major problem for many is that it emphasizes that Ramapo College is more concerned about having more people stay on campus rather than the grades or credits that students earn over the course of the year.
"My plan is to become a pharmacist and getting into pharmacy school is neighboring the difficulty of getting into medical school," Nicolle Milstein, a sophomore at Ramapo College, said. "As a result I devote my studies to maintaining my GPA and it is unacceptable and immoral for Ramapo College to ask students to give up study time to attend events."
The fact that credits no longer matter for the housing process seems to go against the fact that Ramapo is a higher education institution whose job is to educate students, not to force them to go to events on campus. Not only this, but students taking organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology, multivariable calculus, business management and statistics, behavioral neuroscience, or other challenging classes have to spend time outside the class as well. Not only does the college emphasize that every hour in class should equate to at least two hours spent studying outside the classroom, we have to do another five hours outside the classroom for CEC to earn our fourth credit. Then, include working, internships, co-ops, and observation hours; one hardly has time to see one's friends or family.
According to the College's mission statement, Ramapo is "dedicated to the promotion of teaching and learning within a strong liberal arts based curriculum." How is it then that we put the education last in a decision such as housing, which can have a large impact on the way that students interact, study and how they feel about the College? Ramapo is very proud of the high graduation and retention rates of its students but then continues to impose their erroneous policies on said students, which increases dissatisfaction within the student population.