There’s a standard disposition for undergraduate students at Drexel University. Ask any upperclassman undergrad how they’re treated as a student and you’ll get similar responses ranging from “bogus” to “bullshit.” Many of the articles in this very publication whisper undertones of seething apprehension regarding administration and student life. Why do students here feel so neglected and unheard?
We are the Drexel family, but not in a good way. At the top of the corporate throne of administration is President John A. Fry, representing the face, the mouth and the teeth of Drexel leadership. He is, for all intents and purposes, the father figure to the student body. Of course though, it would be unbecoming to criticise the parenting of others. Although, when you’re the child in the situation, speculating the quality of your parents is normal and healthy.
That’s actually what the student body is, children beneath the guidance of our father Fry, hallowed be his name. Why is there so much angst in the student body toward our leadership? We’re the middle children. Freshmen and prospective students are his youngest, graduate students are his eldest and we’re the middle children. Undergraduate students make up a homogenous mix of middle children that never matter. They’re forgotten, unsupported and mistreated.
Our father gives undying attention and support to his youngest. He makes sure they’re safe and warm in dormitories. The middle children are required to take residence in costly affiliated housing, unable to find any space on campus. He makes sure the youngest are well-fed on a meal plan that evidently is designed with only them in mind. The middle children lose their roll-over dining dollars and starve looking for dining options at the start of summer.
Our father loves giving responsibilities to and guiding his eldest. He keeps them comfortable in a lounge just for them. The middle children pay for printing in uncomfortable public spaces. He provides unending resources to his eldest, like the Graduate Student Association, financial aid and teaching assistant work. The middle children are lucky to snag a paid co-op job in A-round or find one of the few open work-study positions.
It’s hard to feel unheard in a family. It’s difficult to see your siblings treated better than you. It’s a challenge to feel like you’re not loved. Maybe our father can give us a louder voice by giving the Undergraduate Student Government Association power and direction. Maybe our father can make us all equal by providing decent food and board to upperclassmen. Maybe our father can act like he loves us more as much as he loves his other kids … and squash.