Balancing act

Students engaged in multiple activities work with professors to succeed

A great number of students are involved in numerous extracurricular activities at Malone such as sports, music or a club. While campus involvement is wonderful, participation should not come at the expense of academic performance. The juggling act that some students do to partake in multiple activities and pursue academics requires flexibility and preparation from both students and professors.

For students, it is often an overwhelming venture to try to balance all of their responsibilities.

Drew Shreve, senior defensive lineman, said, “In season, we have probably 35 hours of football every week, including Saturdays.”

Such a workload would definitely necessitate planning ahead to manage educational and extracurricular commitments. To be successful, students have to be proactive in their classes if they want to do well.

“The professors here at Malone really care about you. If you take the time and if you invest in them, they’ll invest in you,” said Shreve. “As long as you’re proactive and you let them know what’s going on, they would work with you. I’ve never had a professor [in four years] that something wouldn’t work out.”

Joel Soza, professor of biblical studies, said he agreed with the need for students to take initiative in order to succeed inside and outside the classroom. Soza said he credited the coaches for their resourcefulness.

“[Student athletes] tend to be pretty proactive, and I think that’s a part of maybe the athletic culture. They need to be on their game so to speak,” said Soza. “If there is tension I think it’s more so not with the athletes, but might be between faculty and coaches. Coaches are trying to win and get a competitive edge and push their athletes and they might push them to a point where these kids are showing up in the gym for 6 a.m. workouts, so by the time they go to a 1 o’clock class, they’re done.”

“Generally speaking, I would say a majority of us as professors if not all, and I should really say all professors, we really fall under the foundational principle that because we are called to love our students we intentionally focus our work on promoting their intellectual, spiritual, and social growth. I always try to remind myself of that principle no matter the student,” said Stephen Wirick, faculty athletic representative and professor of exercise science.

Loving one’s students influences how Wirick views all extracurricular activities, not just sports.

“The way I try to frame how I look at our students is always students first. They may have a reason why they can’t be in my class because they are in chorale and it’s a college sanctioned event, same thing with an athlete,” said Wirick. “They are missing class because of their extracurricular activity, and it’s a college sanctioned event.”

Wirick said this process of working with students is flexible, but it is also handled with care.

“We love our students, but it doesn’t mean we give them a free pass. There’s a big distinction between loving the students and just saying ‘go do whatever you want to do.’ We really want to invest in our students, and we want to see you grow in your intellect, spirituality and in your social life.”

Amber Curtis is a guest writer for The Aviso.

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