An editorial by Cherna Frederick-Brown
Here at Norfolk State University, we have many activities that take place on campus, such as fraternities, sororities, marching band, ROTC, and many more. Having activities on campus is amazing because it gives students the chance to be able to express themselves, and show off their skills, and even be given the chance to earn a full ride scholarship.
Once a student is given a scholarship, there are rules in order to maintain that scholarship. You must be a full-time student, which means you need at least 12 credit hours. You must be able to maintain a 2.5 GPA, attend classes, and be able to attend the events that are required for the activity you’re taking part in.
Seems simple, right? Wrong!
Many students complain about how certain activities take up too much time out of the day to the point where students can’t even seem to get an hour of study time because they’re so focused on their activities.
For example, in marching band, as a freshman in the band, you have band camp which is half the month of July until the end of August. So, for a whole month, you’re studying the music, learning your place on the field, and the moves that go along with each note. When school starts the students must be focused on classes and band.
‘It’s stressful,” said one band member. “Because practice is usually between 3:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., maybe even until midnight with a few breaks in between. And then, after practice, they have meetings which is about a good 30 minutes. By the time I go to my room, I just go straight to sleep.”
So, if the students have to get up early for classes, and go through their day in class, in addition to study time, then it’s practice for the rest of the day.
How do you expect the students here at Norfolk State to maintain a 2.5 GPA? Sure, time is everything, and practice makes perfect; however, there should be some sort of consideration to time management when it comes to students having to maintain classes and activities.
In ROTC, the students must get up at 5:30 a.m. to go to physical training, which is usually from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday. They must maintain a certain height and weight to even continue in the program and have a 2.5 GPA as well. One ROTC student said she could not go to sleep at night due to anxiety and the stress that comes from constantly checking her weight just to make sure she is eligible to keep her scholarship.
And we haven’t even touched on the pressures student-athletes face on a daily basis. You see the point?
The university should serve the students and try to not overwork them, especially the freshmen! If their GPA isn’t up to standard their first year, how can they ever get to the point of trying to raise it? Norfolk State University is a great Historically Black College and, as a university, we’re all family and we should all build each other up, not put pressure on students with extra-curricular demands when they came here for an education.