Tuscaloosa police responding to a noise complaint tasered and beat a couple of college students who were making too much noise. Students weren’t much quieter when police tried to speak to them either. In fact, they were pretty uncooperative.
There’s an investigation underway as a result of citizen cell phone policing. Since no one died and no one’s face was bloodied, I’m surprised the arrest is of interest to social media.
It’s a sad irony today that so many students seek college for the social freedom of life in the dorms or off campus away from home, yet so many of those students don’t seek academic freedom and lack intellectual curiosity. Many college freshmen literally freak out when asked to clarify and present their opinions on paper.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been met with resistance when I present a topic to students and ask them to voice their perspectives on paper. It’s easier to say what they’re thinking, students say. Too many students who love classroom interaction and conversation tend to skip on dates that essays are due. I teach writing not speech or oral communication. The goal of my class time spent with students is an organized essay with a valid, original thesis.
Many students haven’t the slightest idea what to do when asked to choose a research topic. Students are accustomed to having others do work for them and it affects the quality of higher education in this country.
It’s no wonder that 18-21 year-olds comprise just one third of the nation’s college population. It’s the adults with real world experience who are staying inside of college classrooms and meeting the expectations of innovation in their studies.
The students in the Tuscaloosa video know enough about police arrests and detainment. That’s probably due to the number of police brutality and police murder deaths that have gone viral over the past couple of years. There are also instructional videos circulated free on YouTube on what to do if you’re stopped by the cops. And it looks like the students in Tuscaloosa have seen those videos too.
What’s shocking, or annoying however, is the Tuscaloosa’s students’ disbelief and refusal to acknowledge that policemen knocking on the door is a pretty serious issue. Many people argue, still, that Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown should have cooperated with police instead of the alternative. It’s clear that’s true of the students in the Tuscaloosa video as well.
It’s embarrassing that the videotaped incident in Tuscaloosa involves college students. One would expect higher ed students to be smarter. The goal of most partygoers is to party, and don’t stop party, by any and all means necessary.
Arguing with a cop is more than likely the shortcut to ending a party.
Higher Education report states that 60 percent of college students aren’t prepared and require remedial classes.
As far as writing is concerned, that usually means the student lacks critical thinking skills necessary to write a good sentence. Freshmen college writing is simple when the writer has an idea.
But more often than not, the average college student has ideas that have been regurgitated since college classrooms were first formed in the United States. These people who refuse to think independently hinder higher education’s original purpose.
It’s quite apparent that if secondary and elementary education required more critical thinking assignments where students are required to research and develop their own ideas, then their freshmen year in the college classroom would be less traumatic and students may have more confidence.
Building university and college classrooms of strong thinkers means building a nation of people who communicate without hatred and hostility. The first act of communication is listening, and for many listening is a skill that doesn’t come naturally, but with practice.
When students learn to listen, they’ll find spaces to implement their ideas and attain the A’s merited to students who innovatively and creatively present their ideas in written spaces.
If listening skills were a prerquisite for college students, then incidents like that in Tuscaloosa won’t happen.
Disclaimer: it’s long been my argument that police officers stationed near college campuses have college degrees. It’s the only way to keep the balance of power in a civil service position where communication, not force should be an officer’s weapon of choice.