The lingering question, “Is there a division which exists between the underclassmen and the upperclassmen?” has finally been addressed. In order to understand how students really feel, I surveyed a number of students and provided them with simple questions.
In my opinion, I feel there is a certain amount of division that exists between the upperclassmen and the underclassmen; however, this division can be lessened at our own freewill. I think the division primarily exists because we tend to socialize more with those with whom we came into college or with whom we have classes. As for the African American population, we are first introduced to our peers at orientation and or at the African American Symposium. Dr. Tracey Ray, director of Multicultural Student Affairs, said that those who attend the African American Symposium during Orientation “will gain valuable insight into campus life from the perspective of our African American faculty, staff and students.” At this point the students begin to bond with those who are at their same classification level. The division is also seen within the classroom. Normally, one’s general education courses are with students who are the same classification or only one year above or below. Seniors and freshmen will rarely have the opportunity to mingle in the classroom setting. This is one reason the gap exists. I feel that in order to bridge the gap, individuals have to make an effort outside of the classroom to socialize with other people who are not in their social circle.
When interviewed, RJ Martin, a senior in accounting, had similar views as myself. Martin feels the communication gap is primarily due to the lack of interaction between upperclassmen and underclassmen through classes. When asked who he communicated more with he said, “I tend to communicate with those who take similar classes as I do. Since I am an upperclassman and take higher-level classes, I communicate mostly with upperclassmen.” Martin feels that it is difficult to connect with underclassmen because they take lower level courses.
Jessica Battle, a sophomore in criminology, views things somewhat differently. She stated, “No, I do not believe there is a division between underclassmen and upperclassmen because you have class with both underclassmen and upperclassmen, and you also socialize with both classes.” Battle says that the division does not exist because everyone chooses with whom they want to socialize. She said that “college life is all about the choices you make.” She went on to say that she communicates with both upper and underclassmen. She looks towards upperclassmen for advice on course information, and she provides the same help to those who are seeking help as well.
So this leaves me to ask, does this gap exist amongst us all, or is it just a myth? Some may say we are well blended, but others still say we are divided. The decision is yours. If you feel that there is a gaping hole, then be the change that you would like to see by bridging that gap.