My day at the University of Texas Pan American at Brownsville begins with a 15-minute walk from a Texas Southmost College parking lot to campus because there is no Zone 2 parking available.
It’s likely that my car will get broken into. I mean, it already happened to six individuals last month alone. But what can you do if UT Rio Grande Valley Police does not patrol that area, even though Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Martin Baylor said we could park there if we had a parking permit.
My journey then continues to the Academic Advising Center, where, as a walk-in, I wait to up to an hour to speak to an adviser. Or, I could get an appointment online; after all, it is only a three-week wait. It’s not like the classes I need to take are going to go anywhere.
Actually, the classes I need did go somewhere, the Edinburg campus. If I want to graduate with my UT Brownsville degree plan, I need to take courses in Edinburg because they are not being offered in Brownsville, yet. So, all I can do is sit and wait to see if they open the classes on the Brownsville campus. If not, well, I will need to travel an hour and a half, not counting traffic delays, just to take a course.
That is, of course, if I even knew what courses I am still pending. Oh, did I not mention Brownsville students can’t see their actual graduation credits in Degreeworks. Leticia Jaramillo, associate director for Academic Advising, said in an interview with UTRGV-TV in September that the issue would be resolved by October and until then students could use UTB Online. Well, it’s November and Brownsville students still have their Composition I course labeled as an elective instead of Core Curriculum.
This isn’t a soapbox moment, where I say all the things that grind my gears. No, I am not the only one this is happening to. There are thousands of students who just like me are just trying to find their way to graduation. We just want answers and we are not getting them.
This is not a,“I miss the old UTB” or “Bring Back Ozzie/Bucky,” column. This is a let’s fix the mistakes we have right now.
Let’s put all these ridiculous town hall meetings of “how the mascot should look” on hold, and focus on why UTRGV students are forced to hunt for parking and the rest have to walk well over 15 minutes in 80-degree-plus weather, just to get near campus. And this whole, well-just-get-to-campus-early excuse administrators have given isn’t cutting it anymore.
We need to stop all this unnecessary and exorbitant spending and manpower on events like HESTEC and Midnight Madness and focus on hiring more faculty and staff to better structure and staff departments.
At this point, the university seems to be focused on giving itself a good image instead of focusing on what is best for the students.
This column is not meant to offend any students, faculty or staff from either campus. It is intended to raise awareness on the real issues that are affecting students. We cannot expect change to happen if we don’t speak out and that is what this is really about.