February 27, 2015 by Robert Zaller
Justin Roczniak’s “The Hazards of Curtis 231” (The Triangle, Feb. 20) speaks not only for the students who have to endure substandard and even squalid classrooms at Drexel, but for a silent faculty too. Too often, I have had to teach my classes in rooms that, particularly in Randell and Curtis, insult the purpose of education. We can’t, it seems, have too many places on campus to eat, bank or shop — that is, to part with more of our money — but when it comes to the business of education, well, students have already plunked down their cash and can’t have it back, so why bother to accommodate them?
Of course, students can vote with their feet, and do, which leads administrators to organize more committees to study the problem of retention. If they ever — God forbid, I suppose — stepped into one of dreary, unventilated, underfurnished rooms with the sardine seating students must put up with, a light might just go on. But then there would be one committee less to justify the fancy suites administrators give themselves, and how would that go down?
The problem, as Roczniak notes, is not confined to Randell and Curtis, but extends across the campus. Students, needless to say, deserve better — they deserve, in fact, the best. As for the faculty who tolerate such conditions, though, they are probably getting exactly what they do deserve.
Department of History and Politics