Staff Editorial: Mind the Gap: The division between CCE and traditional students
September 24, 2010
Filed under Archives
Mention the phrase “student-athlete divide” to a seasoned Guilford student. Eyes roll, heavy sighs emit, and pleas for a change of topic quickly ensue. Next, mention the division between traditional and CCE students. The reaction: a deep silence blankets the conversation and the next few minutes are spent in search of a response.The value and time placed upon this topic seems high and pales in comparison to the division between traditional and CCE students.
This 2010 fall semester, there are approximately 2,800 students enrolled at Guilford College. Of this 2,800, 1,420 are traditional students and the remaining 1,281 CCE students.
Numerically, there is little difference between us. Socially, we sometimes seem worlds apart.
For one reason or another, this divide exists within the Guilford community. It isn’t always noticeable, but rather something that seems to steadily abide beneath the surface.
Throughout the years, there have been a variety of guesses as to why this rift exists, ranging from a generational gap, dissimilar interests, or simply never having a class integrated with both CCE and traditional students.
Another speculation is simply that the majority of CCE and traditional students lead completely different lives.
Some CCE students have children, families, or work all day and come to school at night; while the majority of traditional students have yet to reach the legal drinking age.
Whatever the conjecture, valid or ridiculous, where we as a college seem to be failing is in producing a solution.
This often unspoken divide is as vexing as it is problematic within a community that values activism. Fear of making insensitive comments or touching upon an issue that one is unsure of how to approach feeds into the standoffish approach to discussing this topic.
Guilford prides itself on Quaker values to its fullest potential: community.
According to the Guilford College’s online catalogue, “CCE students are not eligible to be elected officers in student clubs and activities designed for traditional-aged students. CCE students are welcome to participate in other traditional student clubs and organizations upon payment of a CCE Plus activity fee of $25.00 per semester.”
However, CCE students are able to participate in academic, departmental clubs and activities, intramurals, and all events sponsored by the CCE SGA.
This is not good enough.
If these boundaries continue to exist in the policy as devised by Guilford, then this implicitly strengthens this divide between traditional and CCE students.
As students, traditional or CCE, we hail from a range of locations, cultures, and belief systems; if we are to truly represent and value community engagement, then more must be done.
As a collective student body, we should focus more on the characteristics that unite us, rather than ones that create division. Each of us chose Guilford to nurture us as individuals, but furthermore to expose us to new perspectives and ideas that challenge the way we learn and interact with others. The diversity of students is one of Guilford’s greatest strengths, something that separates us from other four-year colleges. So, value, uphold, and delight in this diversity.
This divide between CCE and traditional students will not disappear without effort. So integrate, push past preconceived notions and stereotypes – do what we here at Guilford so often do: initiate change and revel in the process.