Night Students Wish to See Daylight

February 13, 2014 Opinion

holt

While Rollins claims to be an inclusive institution, some Holt Students feel segregated from the day benefits the college offers. Health services and Fox Day are clear examples of the isolation.

When I began attending Rollins in Fall 2011, as many students do every year, I went to Rollins Health Services to make an appointment. There I was informed by a staff member they only saw students enrolled through the day school. I inquired if I could pay for the appointment along with any additional charges out of pocket or use my insurance and they informed me that wasn’t possible. This is a little tidbit that was left out at orientation.

I went to Connie Holt for answers to these and a few other questions our students have. She said not long ago (but before my time) they’d allowed Holt students to use Health Services, but shortly after that notice was sent out another followed discontinuing said services. It is true there is a health insurance plan available for purchase, but when you’re going to school full-time and living on your own, coming up with rent is more important than spending approximately $1,000 on health insurance. I asked Ms. Holt if the students were ever given an option to pay a fee with  Financial Aid  or otherwise, as part of tuition for access to Health Services, Ms. Holt said she wasn’t entirely clear but that she would be sure to suggest it.

This brings me to differences in experience of the day versus evening students in the celebration, or, in our case, little celebration, of the most beloved holiday of all for Rollins Students: Fox Day. Every spring, when the Fox is eagerly awaited by students sleeping in tents and our ever watchful Fox Day Cam, there is the lovely reminder that Holt students will not be able to participate in the same capacity as A&S students. Last year for example, an email sent by Sharon Lusk, Assistant Dean of Hamilton Holt School, dated March 14, 2013, we were informed “On the day designated to be Fox Day, 30 minutes will be shaved off the end of the first class (which usually meets from 4:00 – 6:30), and 30 minutes off the start of the second class (which usually meets from 6:45 – 9:15). Holt faculty, staff, and students are invited and encouraged to join other members of the Rollins community on the Mills Lawn for supper, from 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.”

The Fox Hour is the extent many Holt students are involved in  Fox Day. Now, I wonder if it is really necessary to have classes for only those students not enrolled in the ‘day school’?

Ms. Holt said that  “the ‘Fox Hour’ is something new.” She recalled it had been added only in recent years and that it is progress, given the Holt students didn’t have any participation initially. Ms. Holt said, “We haven’t figured out a way to cancel classes and make up for that lost class time given many evening classes occur only once or twice a week.” While I’m sure that is a concern for the teachers and possibly some students, having a free day off with no consequences seems like a lovely gift from the universe, not an inconvenience.

The term “working adults” (as it so clearly pointed out on the Holt School page) would probably enjoy having that extra time to simply go home and relax or be with their family on Fox Day, but alas classes remain in session. The Rollins College website’s mission statement speaks about how we as a college value excellence in teaching and rigorous, transformative education in a healthy, responsive, and inclusive environment.

In another statement on the Student Life page, “Every day is a new adventure, and much of that adventure is experienced through many on-campus opportunities and resources available to you.” On the Rollins Evening page it states  “… programs are designed with working adults in mind.” They say they know the challenge of balancing a busy life with work, family and possibly continuing education added onto it. But all the students enrolled at Rollins through the Holt school are not in their twenties attending college for the first time as “…evening degree programs designed for working adults.” The term ‘working adult’ excludes the many Holt students I approached who live at home while attending school.

Why is our school seemingly deliberately causing a divide among the students,a watered-down experience to the ‘evening’ students? It does provoke the question of money. At the end of the day, is it really about the difference in what A&S and Holt students pay?

There wasn’t a clear answer from Ms. Holt. “The residential students have their needs which are met by the day school and Holt meets the needs of the evening students.”

I am not under any circumstances claiming there is a conspiracy from the high powers that be at this school, but I am saying students should be given a greater voice in matters which affect them personally.

If the entire student body is receiving equality in their education and Greek Life why not health services and social activities like Fox Day? Regardless of what anyone calls it, ‘meeting the needs’ of one student group versus another, there is segregation happening on this campus.

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