Students asked to put up or shut up for homework assignment

Students enrolled in the women’s and gender studies course “Global Women’s Writers” were asked to pay their professor $1.50 for a copy of a reading assignment.

Adriana Rosman-Askot, an associate professor of Modern Languages who also proctors the class, requested that the students pay for a reading that consisted of two short stories, totaling 38 pages.

“We’re having a budget crisis,” Rosman-Askot said. “I didn’t have enough time to post the item on SOCS and the students needed to do the assignment.”

“Everyone needs to assume responsibility while we’re dealing with these financial problems,” Rosman-Askot said.

While most of the students are not upset with Rosman-Askot, they are annoyed by the premise of paying to do their homework.

“It sucks,” Jamie Eichelberger, junior special education/English major, said. “It’s weird to have a teacher ask you for money. It is strange to have to carry money (to class). Most students here at the College carry their ID card, keys, books and that’s it.”

“We weren’t offered any explanation (about why we had to pay),” Eichelberger said. “All we heard was something about the secretaries asking for money.”

Yasmin Obie, sophomore secondary education/English and women’s and gender studies major, wondered why the school didn’t allocate money from her tuition for problems like this.

“They already charge us for using the student center and the computer labs; why can’t this come out of those charges?” Obie said.

Many of the students said the modern languages office was to blame for the fee. Several said Rosman-Askot had been “yelled at” by the secretaries there.

Barbara Nyzio, member of the office support staff in the department of modern languages, dispelled the rumors floating around Bliss Hall.

“All of the departments were cut money-wise,” Nyzio said, “but I still have to buy the same amount of paper as before. Professor Rosman-Askot had a problem placing the item on SOCS and we don’t have time to place things for the faculty. So we decided to go with the payment option.”

Nyzio added that the option of a minimal payment was much better than making the students buy a new book for one assignment.

Nyzio also echoed the sentiments of Rosman-Askot.

“This all has basically stemmed from the budget crisis,” Nyzio said. “In the long-run, this was intended to save the students money, to save them from wasting their PrintSense. It wasn’t done to punish the students. It was done out of courtesy.”

Some of the blame may rest with Gov. Jon S. Corzine. Corzine’s 2006 budget proposal reallocated spending in several areas, including higher education. State spending on public institutions like the College was cut by $169 million.

When asked if she thought that the budget crisis would cause fees like this to be pushed upon other classes and departments, Nyzio replied with an emphatic “No.”