Picket Editorial: Graduate Student Exclusion

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We at The Picket would like to draw attention to a part of the student body that does not get very much notice from us or from the student body at large: the graduate student population. According to Shepherd University’s website, there are 4,170 undergraduate students enrolled. On the other end of the spectrum, there are 156 graduate students enrolled.

The difference created by about 4,000 student gap is a large one. It is understandable, then, that the exposure to and utilization of university services to graduate students is somewhat lesser than that of undergraduate students simply because there are so many fewer graduate students enrolled.

Access to the Academic Support Center, for example, is currently barred to graduate students. While the reasoning behind the policy is understandable, as it makes sense for undergraduate tutors to stick with tutoring undergraduate students, it is nevertheless unfortunate that graduate students do not have access to that excellent resource. The graduate students that were questioned about access to the support center all expressed interest in utilizing the service, but admitted that there would have to be concessions made with regards to time, as many graduate students are not available during the times in which the tutors are normal working.

Obviously, the problem of access is one that is not easily answered or solved. It is important, however, to have the discussion. Students at Shepherd University have access to a selection of very fine graduate programs that frequently place students into schools and businesses.

We, to put it simply, just wish for the graduate students at Shepherd to get a little more exposure in the greater culture of the university. As we are the official newspaper of the school, part of that responsibility lies with us. We hope to continue to cover news regarding graduate services and programs at Shepherd, and we also hope that those services and programs expand and grow in the future.