To the Editor:
RE: ‘PSI: Please stop it, y’all’
First of all, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, in fact, this was not the first year that students have had to do the Think About It course. A course that is online, done on one’s own time, and only about an hour and a half long. It’s simply unfair to bundle this arguably helpful class with the Pioneer Success Institute, which was regrettably a disaster.
I would concede that, though it was meant to be helpful, PSI was constructed for a younger group. It felt like being back in high school. The result was a knee-jerk reaction to slander the course on social media and put up signs, rather than actually being productive in making the course better.
I agree that the sessions were sometimes filled with uncomfortable silences. In my PSI group, as with seemingly all of them, there was not much talking. Students weren’t thrilled to be packed like sardines, shoulder-to-shoulder, with people they’ve never seen before in their lives, being expected to share their insecurities. Not that this isn’t justifiable in some activities, but in other, less emotional activities, this turned into more of a form of protest rather than just being uncomfortable.
This was part of the reason PSI was seen as such a mess. No one would respond, even on the simplest of questions. There was a lack of participation in the students, due to preconceived notions about the class; therefore it was never given the chance to show its potential.
The other reason, which I mentioned above, was that it was constructed wrong. This was the first year of PSI, because it was made by our administrators for LC students. This is the beta-testing phase of the program with its intended audience. It’s like the first iPhone, which fell far short of the iPhone 6. Instead of breaking out the scotch tape and wasting paper, we could have started forming constructive criticisms for the administration to take into consideration for next year.
After the fact, it’s easy to look back on PSI as a student and scoff, but the creators of PSI still have generations of first years to educate on these issues, something this year’s subjects did not take into account. Maybe it was useless for now, but a change in direction for PSI could make it a success. And success for PSI means a safer campus and happier students.
I would give it a thumbs down for now, but I would also give students reaction to it a thumbs down. If nothing else, it taught us an extremely valuable life skill: how to do something you don’t want to do.