Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

The dark cloud of the Miami Plan: The downfalls overshadow benefits

The following piece, written by the editorial editors, reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.

When it comes to the Miami Plan redesign, The Editorial Board could sum up our thoughts with one word: finally. It finally happened.

But in the interest of filling out our argument, allow us to go on.

Collectively, we've suffered through far too many random required classes in our time at Miami. We've earned empty credit hours by showing up to a crowded lecture hall and vaguely scribbling notes down. We've gotten a "global perspective" by sitting in Upham Hall scrolling through Facebook on our laptops. We've spent hundreds of dollars on science textbooks that are collecting dust in our closets. We've received our worst grades in classes we have no interest in. We've wasted away hours studying for Geology exams when we could've been getting better at our chosen craft.

So after years of headaches and a few interspersed mental breakdowns, the fact that students will soon have fewer foundational courses on their plate is happy news.

We know that, in theory, the Miami Plan is a good, potentially life-changing, thing. For some wide-eyed students, particularly those who check undecided next to their area of study, the Miami Plan is a way to test the educational waters. It's a way to discover what you like and what you don't like and to decide what kind of field is calling your name.

Without the Miami plan, you may have never stumbled upon that hidden love of environmental science or nutrition or coaching. Those are the times, rare as they may be, when the Miami Plan is good.

We know that there's some value in the Miami Plan. There's certainly value in taking a diverse list of courses and continually evolving your educational palette. We're glad that Miami is home to a wide selection of courses and fields of study and that we have the opportunity to choose any possible direction. The folks enrolled in winetasting or Racquetball right now probably agree with that sentiment.

The best part about your first year at Miami is that every door is wide open - and the Miami Plan attempts to guide you through the array of options. It gives you a starting out point that can be hard to find when you first step onto campus.

Yes, the Miami Plan, as it is now and as it has served the majority of us on The Editorial Board, is a good idea in theory.

But in reality, it falls short. It makes our time at Miami jam-packed with courses we don't enjoy and it adds unnecessary, irrelevant tasks to our workload.

If you come to Miami and you know what you want to do, that long list of foundational courses gets in the way. You're forced to tack on extra classes, sit through boring PowerPoint presentations and take tests about subjects that make your eyes glaze over. There's just nothing worse than jugging upper-level classes specific to your major while also being assigned a pile of Geology readings, right? We'd rather spend our energy on classes we actually are excited about.

So, hearing about this change has us taking in a big sigh of relief. We're glad the Miami Plan is catching up to the 21st century and we expect much better things from this new version. It will provide students with more freedom and time to explore all that Miami has to offer, minus the meaningless requirements. It is definitely a positive step for this university. But we won't lie - we're just a tiny bit bitter that it took this long.