Yes, the college does care for you

Examining the ways in which NDSU values its students

John Swanson | Photo Courtesy
Should the school’s staff get more credit for how much they care for students?

In challenging times, we as students and as human beings seek out persons, places or things to blame; and I have noticed that NDSU has been commonly receiving the brunt of our blame. Also as students, we have been overlooking the benefits the staff lay out for us, as well as the struggles they go through to provide.

Having been a student at NDSU for nearly three years, I have seen my fair share of dissonance dealt towards the institution, as well as directing some of my own towards it. Before the quarantine, there was much discussion of student burnout, now there seems to be much more speculation into how little NDSU cares for its students.

My own opinions on such issues having now altered over time and with experience. I will explain why NDSU has been unfairly maligned and how much the institution cares for the students.

Before this spring semester, I was frantic about wanting to get all my courses done. The first person to know this was my advisor. We met via Zoom and in one of our meetings, I saw her working from home with some of her family members popping in and out of frame now and again. I did bring this up in our next meeting and she cheerily explained that not everything that the quarantine brought in was awful.

It also got me thinking: if maneuvering the online learning is tough for the student, running it for others to use would probably be tougher. We often take for granted the staff that works hard for NDSU. They do care for the student, not only as they are for the business of learning, but as humans who are simply seeking the next step in their life.

It was later I learned that I was putting too much work into graduating this spring, and that had I gone through some plans advised (not by my advisor, but by another in the department), I would have signed up for seven classes. Of course, I jumped into it, but later realized that this was an impossible task to do.

Doing my further research into what I needed, I learned I needed only four four-hundred-level classes. I reacted to this and my advisor was the first and only to apologize despite the fact I would argue she was not to blame for this misunderstanding. This helped me realize how much I was valued by the institution.

In my second year of college at NDSU, I noticed numerous articles from The Spectrum expressing how “Students are weary to attend class” or “The college does not value the student as much as it should.” If students felt that way then, heaven help them now.

Yes, this quarantine is a tough time for all, but the staff is working around the clock to make this in-person institution approachable and safe. You as the student are expected to learn and to care about learning no matter the problems facing you in your life. 

The point is, I feel NDSU has been given a bad rap, if not by word of mouth or attendance, then in the mind of the student. This college is not perfect and it faces health and ethical problems every week, but its staff works hard to protect the students both as investing customers and as human beings. Please return the care by treating the college not as a heartless institution, but as a business working to provide for your needs.

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