Sorenson: Student input went into housing lottery change

My name is Joseph Sorenson and I am a member of RHA, the group that collaborated with the Residence Life Department in making the decision to take away the point deduction for housing. There were different reasons that multiple students agreed on GPA based why to not have the GPA deduction anymore.

First, is the GPA deduction really something that is going through students’ minds when they are studying or working towards getting good grades? Second was this system really a fair system? Student’s GPAs are different for many different reasons, not just based on how hard they work. Some majors are more difficult than others; its not fair for a student with major X to be compared to a student with major Y, when may be a more difficult major.

What about those student that dedicated their time to the college in other ways such as music, theater, athletics, student groups, volunteering, etc? These students are working just as hard but devoting their time in more ways than just their studies. Should we send the message that GPA is the only important factor here at Simpson or should we promote students being active? A third thing is that some students have to work to be able to afford to stay here at Simpson; not everyone can write checks out at the beginning of the semester to pay for college. These were the basic argument that led to the making of the decision to take away the GPA deduction.

I disagree with a few comments that were made in this article. One comment was, “However, students aren’t being severely punished if they don’t get a point deduction. They will still have a roof over their heads.” Of course they have roof over their heads, they are paying good money to be housed here at Simpson. This institution is not free, and this does include housing. With the GPA deduction taken out, no one is being punished for not achieving a certain level of GPA, no matter why they cannot achieve that level. In addition everyone still has a roof over their head so it sounds like a totally fair system.

Another comment in the article has, “Instead of rewarding students who work hard and take their academics seriously, Simpson is sending students the message that it is OK to skip class or blow off a paper.” This is a far-fetched assumption to make. I am going to go ahead and assume as well and say that most of the students will not have the thought going their head when they sleep through class that Simpson is okay with them doing so because they are not taking points off for their GPA anymore.

Also, as I don’t think students will not do a paper for class because they are thinking why do, I won’t get points off my lottery number for housing. Maybe this is a radical thought but students should want to do these things to obtain a degree first and fore most. If GPAs fall and students stop going to class because of this change then the college made the wrong decision. However I don’t see this happening.

The lottery system without a GPA point deduction levels the playing field for all students. While some students who don’t take academics seriously and get by with a low GPA may benefit and take advantage of this the not having point deductions, it is those who devote their time elsewhere that will rightfully gain from this change.