Opinion: Buildings strictly for major is impossible

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As a senior, I would find it absolutely amazing if I could take all of my senior-level classes in one building. However, that is impossible for someone with my major.

I am majoring in agricultural communications and journalism. Although it may seem like a dual degree, it’s not. Students in this major are required to take classes in both Umberger and Kedzie Hall, homes of the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education and the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, respectively.

“It’s a nice change of scenery, but it is difficult to make it to class on time,” said Lachelle Marshall, junior in agricultural communications and journalism, said.

Splitting your schedule between two buildings on opposite sides of campus is less than ideal. Most students with back-to-back classes usually have a 10-minute time frame to make it to their next location. However, things don’t always work out as planned.

“When professors teach classes for the full time period, it is impossible to make it from Kedzie to Umberger or Umberger to Kedzie in that 10-minute time frame,” Marshall said.

I agree with Marshall. When you add the components of classroom traffic and street traffic, in addition to the time that it took you to pack up your class material such as textbooks, notebooks and writing utensils, it will take you longer than 10 minutes to travel between Kedzie and Umberger.

A solution here could be completing all of your Kedzie Hall classes one semester, then completing Umberger Hall classes the next or vice versa. However, agricultural communications and journalism students are not the only ones with this problem. For example, Tanniqua-Kay Buchanan, senior in regional and community planning and dance, has her senior-level regional and community planning classes in Seaton Hall and her senior-level dance classes in Nichols Hall.

“It’s not really a big deal traveling between two different buildings to complete my majors,” Buchanan said. “I am going to graduate with two degrees in fields that I love. Not being in the same building my senior year is the least of my worries.”

Education majors face a similar challenge. These students, in addition to attending classes on campus, have to teach at an outside elementary or secondary school to complete their final block, which can only be taken during their senior year.

“It was rough, because I was one of the only students traveling out to this particular school,” Dominique Brookshire, K-State alumna, said.

Field experience can grant students with invaluable lessons that they cannot always learn in the classroom.

“My teaching block was a really interesting time for me to get to know myself,” Brookshire said. “I was able to figure out things that I was good at, things I was not so good at, things that K-State prepared me for and things that did not appear before going to teach in the classroom.”

Sometimes it’s the minor, not the major, that has students running from building to building. For example, if a student has a minor in leadership studies, a portion of their time will be spent in the Leadership Studies Building. One of its core classes, Senior Seminar in Leadership Studies, can only be taken during your senior year.

Staying in the same building to complete your classes may be ideal for some, but to others it would be detrimental. They would not be able to complete their goals or gain the experience they need to succeed had they stayed in the same building.

“I’ve learned so much because of my experiences and I will continue to learn and educate, whether in a classroom setting or not,” Brookshire said.

Having to run between classes is inconvenient, but sometimes you just have to deal with it. A clear solution cannot be reached for those who have minors, dual majors or combination majors. The degrees we will earn at the end are worth one more small step (or multiple) in the process.

Taneysha Howard is a senior in agricultural communications and journalism.

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