By Kimberly Olivera
Faculty members at Barton are concerned about the effect partying is having on students’ attendance and academic behavior in class.
Faculty Assembly Moderator Claudia said that student partying and coming to class in conditions not conducive to studying was brought to the faculty’s attention by an faculty member at the last faculty meeting.
That faculty member said students were coming into the classroom still drunk from the night before. Duncan said this faculty member claimed one student was so full of alcohol in his or her system they wound up in the hospital.
Duncan said this faculty member said the problem with students coming to class tardy or still intoxicated from their previous endeavors was usually on Wednesdays.
Duncan said the situation was discussed during the faculty assembly to get the thoughts of faculty members on it.
She said many of the faculty members are concerned these parties are keeping students up late at night, causing them to be tired for class in the morning or to not show up at all. The concern is, she said, that this is causing students to not do well academically.
Duncan said that no decisions have been made yet. Faculty members are simply discussing the matter.
She said there were suggestions during the faculty meeting of asking that the parties be moved to weekends or to have a dry campus, which would mean no alcohol at all.
She said it was mostly brainstorming with ideas being thrown around, but she doesn’t know what the resolution will be.
Duncan said she notified Dean of Students Jared Tice and Vice President for Student Affairs George Solan, in addition to speaking about it with Provost Gary Daynes, so they would be aware.
Duncan said that unlike the faculty member who had problems with students on Wednesdays, her case was on a different day of the week.
Most of the fraternity parties are typically on Tuesday or Thursday nights. Duncan said she has worked at Barton for 27 years and has had an 8 a.m. class every year.
She said she’s noted that most of the absences in her class have been on Fridays. Duncan said regardless of parties or not, she believes there will always be students who show up late to class. She said that’s inevitable. “I think students should be mature enough to know not to come late to class,” said Duncan.
Provost Daynes said the concern is not primarily with parties, but with students coming to class prepared to learn. Daynes said this is only one piece of a bigger effort to help students with the academic culture at Barton.
He said he met with Tice and Solan to discuss how they could help students make wiser choices through student life.
Daynes said that working with students to make sure learning is a first priority is important. He said that he, Tice, and Solan are trying to find a way where they can support student learning as well as still supporting students’ social life.
Daynes said there has been no conclusion and that there is a general sense among faculty members that the college could do more to strengthen the academic culture at Barton.
“The faculty at Barton College are concerned about making sure that our academic culture is as strong as possible,” said Daynes. “One part of that is making sure that students come to class and are ready to learn when in the classroom.”
Daynes said he knows parties are not the cause of all students coming late to class. Daynes said a student could have stayed up late doing homework the night before or had a family emergency.
He said when a student isn’t doing academically well, it’s usually a combination of things. Daynes said it is important for a student to be spiritually, mentally and physically in tune. He said if a student is doing poorly in school, it is usually because one of these things is out of balance. He said students have to have the right relationship and have time management.
Daynes said he said he will meet with the Greek Council in October to further discuss options.