Staff Editorial: Connections Really Helping Students Connect?

Rambler Staff

Connections has been the talk among students these past couple weeks. Students and teachers alike have very different opinions on the subject. But the one question often asked is, what is the point?

Every single day, except early-out Wednesdays, now has a class period of games or team-building activities following second hour and maybe, a few times a week, an academic period.

What about the students who have work to get done, or have an online class? Sophomore Nathan Rohrberg was stressed out by the fact that he can only work on half of his online German class and now has to do most of his class outside of school almost like homework because most of his former free time is now taken up by activities.

Not only does connections affect students with online classes, but it affects some students’ lunch schedules. Senior Jack Hughes has to be at his Iowa Western classes by noon, and he doesn’t get out of school until 11:15. Last year seniors taking Iowa Western classes  got out at 10:40, which gave them an extra 35 minutes of time to eat lunch before their classes. Thanks to the extra 35 minutes of time in the daily schedule for connections, many seniors have limited time for lunch anymore. “We have no time to eat lunch and it’s horrible.” said Hughes.

Connections should not be a daily class if students are not guaranteed a little time if any during the period to work on their required online classes or homework, or have no time to eat lunch.

Those who support this new connections class argue that these games are bringing people together to meet their peers with team-building activities. But Rohrberg also states, “I think connections isn’t going to make a difference because you cannot force groups of people to integrate.”

In our opinion, these classes are taking up too much time. They don’t do much for students’ opinions of others because students only hang out with their friends and try to avoid the others they don’t know. It’s not going to change. Students now have more work to do outside of school due to these activities. It would at least be nice to know in advance what days are for studying, and what days are for games.

We don’t think connections should be abolished, but changed, give students more academic time. Why couldn’t last year’s seminar have been moved to the morning? The biggest problem was skipping, and putting it in the morning would have solved the issue.

The administration seems very supportive of this new class.

“I want to make this building as safe and as friendly for everybody, and sure, we have our own individual cliques where we know people, but connections is a way to get to know those people we typically would not hang out with. We also get to support people we typically would not support.” said Principal Richard Hutchinson

Hutchinson made a good point  about how connections is a a way to hang out with others we wouldn’t normally hang out with because socialization and making friends is a vital part of students’ school lives. But could we save this for a once-a-week thing, so people still have time to work on academics for most days? This is already being implemented to an extent, but many of the days are still spent on team-building games.

With games like human tic-tac-toe, connections time is like a recess, but recess is for kids, and it’s time for us to grow up.

Staff Vote: 9 agreed, 1 opposed