May Term a playtime no longer

by Sara Heim

Several classes were erased from the May Term course selectionthis year, among them old favorites such as Fishing and Wellnessand Recreational Outdoor Activities.

The measure has raised some concerns among Simpson studentsabout the future of May Term.

“May Term is all about winding down and having fun,” juniorCasey Howe said. “Why would you want to take all of the fun classesaway?”

According to John Bolen, associate dean and registrar, the onlyshift in May Term is to make it a more academic term.

“The point of May Term is to provide innovative approaches toeducation and broader topics of choice for students,” Bolensaid.

However, students like junior Jen Lashier don’t see a clearrelation between what Simpson says and what it does.

“It’s a bad idea to eliminate these classes because the classesgive students a chance to get outside of the classroom,” Lashiersaid. “They claim that May Term is a time for students to get outof classrooms, but they’re shoving students back into theclassroom.”

Although the final decision on what specific courses are offeredcomes from each academic department, Dean of Academics Bruce Haddoxmade the decision about what kind of classes would be taught duringMay Term.

“I decided that some folks in physical education, particularlycoaches who are recruiting for next year, could better spend timerecruiting students during May Term,” Haddox said.

For Haddox, Simpson is at a disadvantage compared to othercolleges because most coaches are out recruiting while Simpson’scoaches are spending time teaching May Term classes.

According to Haddox, it’s common for some courses not to beoffered every year.

He also said that although class choices being restricted, moredomestic trips are being offered this year than in the past.

Still, some students aren’t happy with the decision to focus onclassroom-based courses in May Term.

“I understand that the faculty is trying to make the classesmore challenging, but it’s May Term,” senior Sarah Meyer said. “Whowants to study in May? If people get to go to London and slack off,I should get to slack off in Indianola.”

Bolen said the faculty takes May Term seriously and doesn’t viewit as a time to relax.

“The attitude [that] May Term is a ‘blow off’ is an attitude ofstudents, not an attitude that faculty have,” Bolen said.

According to Bolen, the rumor of taking May Term entirely offthe academic calendar is false. He said there has always been adebate about whether to keep May Term or not.

“It has been discussed for 20 years and probably always willbe,” Bolen said. “The reality is, May Term is here and we arelooking for May Term proposals for 2006.”