Editorial: Honors program: Stop ‘F’ ing around.

West Village F looks nice, that’s certain, but don’t let the well-placed brick and mortar fool you if you’re an honors student at Northeastern.

The addition of West Village F gave freshman honors students premier housing, but there are still some serious kinks in the workings of the honors program – particularly its inability to provide course options.

Nikki Frankel, who worked so hard in high school she began her career on Huntington Avenue with 34 AP credits, thought she would get ahead because of the program, but instead she feels set back. The program’s requirements left her behind academically in her two majors, and she was forced to spend time in classes that weren’t required by her major.

Inconveniences such as Frankel’s are common in the program, which sometimes puts students in a tight spot. It’s an enigma of sorts – a program designed to foster the growth of Northeastern’s most talented, which in turn does nothing but annoy and pester them with illogical, and often unnecessary, requirements.

In particular, students with double majors or a minor are handicapped by the honors requirements. In some cases, the students are forced to choose between their academic endeavors and staying in the honors program.

Students like Frankel, who come to Northeastern prepared for a rigorous education and a dual major, are the type of students we’ve seen walking around the freshman quad more and more over the past few years. These are the very students Northeastern created an honors program for, and it should have taken them into consideration long ago. Say, when they started planning West F.

Frankel was forced to choose between an honors course and taking a class only offered that semester. Frankel was also forced to take additional classes because of the honors program, which failed to be cohesive with her academic plan.

The solution, Frankel said, was to simply offer more courses in the honors program.

Even more troubling is the notion that President Joseph Aoun is pleased when students decide for a minor or a second major, but the university’s bureaucracy doesn’t accomodate them. In a forum with President Aoun, he encouraged the idea of students taking multiple majors, but did not discuss scheduling problems that arise. Smells like a classic case of lip service.

The problems of the program are indicative of many in the university – a growing school with an increasingly talented pool of students that is handicapped by insufficient resources. At first glance the honors program is promising to an incoming student, with a magnificent residence hall, groundbreaking seminars and a fast track to fellowship possibility through research initiatives. The older they get, however, the program becomes less groundbreaking and more of a nuisance.

There is a disconnect between the administration and the students, an absence of communication in need of fixing. If the school cannot learn from its student’s suggestions for improvement, then the program will remain flawed. And if the students continue to study in a flawed program, their education will suffer as a result.

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