Education is a partnership, not something students purchase

Dear Mr. Customer,

I was saddened and dismayed that Drew Riebhoff (“This is Simpson, How may I help you?” April 18) views of the college as a customer-based business. When you go to college, it is not the same thing as buying an I-pod or a Chevy. It is not a seller/buyer relationship, but a partnership.

College is a once in a lifetime experience. Yes, you are paying a large price for the experience and knowledge, but if you play your part in the exchange the rewards will pay you back tenfold.

The faculty and staff here not only teach you the intricacies of U.S. economics or the complexities of human anatomy, but also life skills such as how to become self-sufficient, how to become an active citizen and how to make your ambitions become a reality.

And, yes, also writing competency. After all, Simpson is a Liberal Arts college and the college is just checking to make sure you got what you paid for which is the ability to express yourself well with the written word. 

College is anything but a one-way street. The student must be just as actively involved learning the subject matter, dealing with time management, developing interpersonal skills, etc. This is a student’s last safe haven to make mistakes that still may be rectified. Once a student goes out into the “Real World” it is quite different. If you don’t show up for work, your employer will fire you. If you don’t pay your bill, the electric company will shut off your service.

This may be your only opportunity to have a campus full of people that want to exchange ideas, information and experiences with out. You have this chance to pick the brains of professors, administrators and peers to help you shape your future and the person you want to be. If you choose to work in partnership with the college which will benefit students yet to come.

So, Mr. Customer, the choice is yours on what your college experience will be. If you choose to be a customer, then the old adage still holds true: You get what you paid for.

Jim PooleySimpson Alum, Class of ‘86