Junior Audit

I had only been back a few hours from my summer vacation when my dad, who had stayed in the US for work, informed me that I had received a “Junior Audit” over vacation. Despite my extreme tiredness, my eye muscles mustered the strength to open my eyes wide open, and I immediately began worrying what infraction of the rules had induced The College to give me a “Junior Audit”. Much to my surprise and laughter, my dad proceeded to inform me that a “Junior Audit” consisted of a messy control sheet, on which was written-much of it illegible-all of the classes I had taken; the letter asked me to inform The College if the sheet was inaccurate. As it turns out, the control sheet was missing at least one class; what’s more interesting is all of my classes were correctly listed on TESS, and I could read them! When my dad called The College to tell them of the error, he asked them why The College expended energy and money sending messy, perhaps illegible control sheets to Junior students when all of their classes are correctly listed on TESS already. The lady told my dad that all of the classes on TESS were accurate, but that the “Junior Audit” was a “courtesy” to students. Not to be rebuffed by such an ambiguous retort, my dad asked the lady what benefit this had and why it was labeled with a word that has such a negative connotation; lacking a reasonable answer, the lady became frustrated. The only use of such a control sheet that I can see would be that it describes what classes fulfill which requirements, but such information could easily be sent in e-mail form with a legible attachment. The “Junior Audit” may be created with good intentions, but it is a waste of time and energy that probably does more harm than good.
As risible as this is, it highlights two serious problems at The College: (1) administrators complicate their jobs and college policy for no reason, and (2) administrators’ responses to constructive criticism-and indeed any perceived threat to their authority-consist of accusations of a lack of appreciation and a bewilderment at how paying customers could have the impudence to question The College. Perhaps it is students who should be sending “Administrative Audits” to administrators, for their responses would be at best enlightening-and at worst entertaining.

Matthew Civiletti