The budget plan at the UA is continually revised but never responds to student concerns. Buildings are constructed with high-tech equipment, modern architecture and sophisticated landscaping while older buildings (where students spend the majority of time) fall apart and are in desperate need of renovation. To decrease the cost of expenditures on employee salaries, experienced faculty are laid-off while less experienced faculty such as graduate students take their places. The majority of my undergraduate classes were taught by graduate students who'd rather be writing their theses than teaching. The budget supports the school but not the students.
It is really hard to choose something negative about my school, because I love it. However, the majority of students here are Caucasian. The minorities such as African American and Latino are no where to be found on campus. There are business and volunteer sororities and fraternities for these minorities, but it appears as though they are not as socially accepted as the majority. Arizona could benefit from including those minorities and making it more socially acceptable to include them in the social sororities and fraternities for example. Even though this is an issue, Arizona is still the best campus.
The worst aspect about the University of Arizona currently is the University's website. People cannot find the information they seek due to its updated design. This is frustrating for users because they cannot find useful information, which can be time-sensitive. Prospective students will be turned off, current students have trouble navigating their own school (online), and other people interested in a variety of programs the university has will be put off by its confusing layout. This is the worst part about my school because it sheds bad light on itself while it is a great university.
Historically, Arizona taxpayers have not considered education their top priority. Because of this, Arizona universities have met their budgets by increasing tuition costs. When I enrolled at UA as an undergraduate in 2002, resident tuition was under $2,000/semester. Each year of my undergraduate career, the Board of Regeants passed a tuition hike, and undergraduate tuition came to $3,500/semester at the time of my graduation in 2007. Now, as a graduate student at the UA, I struggle to cover the higher tuition costs in order to get an education I can use to serve my community.
Opportunities are more often marked by an availability of options than by the lack thereof. At the University of Arizona, the issues posed by a plethora of routes to success creates a problem. WIth over 400 clubs and organizations with the possibility of expansion on a student's whim, selecting among these activities has been by far one of the most difficult things I have had to do. Do I advocate with the Buddhists for Peace? Stand up against genocide in Sudan with STAND? Alleviate and placate children in hospitals with Muracles? In any case, sometimes more options is worse.
The lack of academic integrity and discipline is a frustrating sight to see on my school’s campus. Students place a heavier emphasis on partying and lounging around than caring for their studies. Although striking a balance between going to school and having a social life is difficult at times, I have seen some classes only a quarter occupied because students choose to do other activities instead of attending class. There should be more punitive measures for ditching classes, but I suppose it is a lesson that life will teach inevitably. Some people care, and others do not.
The worst thing about the University of Arizona is its Mathematics Department. The classes are needlessly complicated, and the majority of the teachers who teach the class are graduate students (most of which are not helpful). The math department ranks the lowest in passing rates and it is under scrutiny for doing so. Plus, the math department has set up different curriculum for Calculus students who are pressured into working for 3 weeks straight and taking a test to move onto the second half of the course while those who don't pass are forced to repeat that math class.
This is a large research university and as such must accommodate a substantial amount of students, professors and consequently, agendas. While I feel the school does an excellent job fortifying its integrity as an educational institution, the economic condition of the state and country is inducing many unnecessary (and hopefully temporary) setbacks as far as financial affordability and teacher to student ratio. The sad consequences of budget cuts to education have an arching effect through the institution, though this is most likely true throughout the nation.
The worst thing about the University of Arizona would have to be the lack of assisstance. Through the registration process, waiting on responses to calls, returning calls and having it go straight to voicemail, hearing about lectures or after school opportunities after it's too late to attend or participate. Also, the University of Arizona has a lot to offer academically, but I find their minor selection very minimal. Students looking to attend this school are looking for the best degree, and even though most majors require a minor, the choices are bleak.
Although the University of Arizona has numerous positive qualities to it there is a certain characteristic, or more like a lack of a characteristic that bothers me. My school lacks school spirit in the same way that Arizona State University lacks an academic reputation. Maybe I have been spoiled coming from Texas where the state schools all overachieve in every possible thing and thus have a high level of school spirit. But when I show up to a football game and the stands are not even close to being filled up ten minutes before kickoff, that is a problem.