No matter what critics may say, St. John’s does a great job providing students with nonacademic organizations and activities. But, despite the University’s strides, students still seem disconnected to the campus.
It’s a sad fact that students throughout St. John’s overlook the great facilities the University has to offer. And, while it is true that students’ main focus in college should be academics, there is still a crucial social aspect which organizations and clubs help to foster. The balance of these two parts of college can help students once they leave the gates of St. John’s and enter the real world.
The University, much to its credit, has realized the disconnect developing and, as a result, has answered in the form of the learning communities, an initiative aimed at helping students with their studies, in addition to social interaction.
The idea of the learning communities is simple: students, both residents and commuters, are placed in different classes with other students sharing the same interests. Through this, the University hopes to help undecided majors more easily determine what they wish to study, and also help these likeminded students get to know one another.
Besides meeting with students with similar interests, the undecided majors will also be helped by professors and doctors of different departments. The gatherings will give students the opportunity to interact with 29 faculty members who will listen to the students’ interests, and help them narrow down what they want to get a degree in. What is great about this idea is that students will be able to help other students, fostering both academic interest and social interaction.
There is no doubt that these series of activities will provide the undecided majors, in the interaction with students who share the same interests as them and with members of the faculty, discover where their academic and career interests lie. In addition, St. John’s plans on taking students in the learning communities on trips to Broadway shows, museums, and other interesting venues.
This past Tuesday, a reception for learning community students took place at Donovan Hall in the Residence Village. The turnout for this event, although decent, was far less than it should have been. St. John’s has been continually trying to implement new changes to benefit its students, both socially and academically.
Granted, not all of its policies have been effective, but this time, the University seems to have hit the nail on the head. Ultimately, it’s up to the students to take advantage of St. John’s latest opportunity; let’s just hope they realize the great academic benefits the learning communities can provide.