By Kim Manahan (Whetstone Staff Writer)
Conspiracy theories amuse me.
I have my own about Wesley.
For an article this issue, I wanted to know what the average grade point average of the college is.
I wanted to know because Coach Mike Drass had proudly released the average GPA of student athletes. I needed the school’s average so I could provide more information to students, The Whetstone‘s readers, so they could judge for themselves how the college is doing as a whole, compared to athletes here and to other schools.
But no one in the college administration would give me the numbers.
The office of academic affairs was happy to give me the number of students who were on the Dean’s and President’s lists. But they chose not to tell me either the average GPA or how many students were put on academic probation or who were academically suspended.
I don’t want names. I just wanted what the student body is entitled to at the school they attend: facts and figures.
Here are some facts I got on my own: A recent study shows that the average GPA of private colleges and universities is a 3.3; for public universities, it’s 3.0.
From compiling the numbers I was given through several different sources, Wesley is below this mark.
In fact, the overall GPA of student athletes (who make up about 17 percent of the student population) is a 2.64, according to Drass’ press release.
One source told me that athletes have a higher overall GPA then the general population, but the administration did not want to address this issue.
Instead, I was told to focus on the good news about the athletes.
For one, saying their GPA is 2.64 (and perhaps higher than the general Wesley population) may or may not be good news. It’s hard to tell with nothing official to compare it with, such as the school’s average GPA.
But, for the millionth time, The Whetstone is not the administration’s PR! We’re here to give the students as much information as possible so they can figure out for themselves how their school is doing and what they can do about it.
I wanted to throw up in my mouth when I was patronizingly told by the administration to “focus on the good news.” That attitude does not accept what The Whetstone is about. I have no obligation to answer to anyone on the third floor of College Center, and neither does anyone on my staff. My obligation is toward the student body and giving them as much information as I can.
I’m not knocking anyone who doesn’t have the greatest GPA; mine isn’t the best. It’s actually about a 2.8/ 2.9.
But it’s troubling that it is so hard for the school to release this number. Are they hiding something? Last semester I felt like I had to pull teeth during another interview to find out how many freshmen were admitted to Wesley with below a 2.0 GPA.
And yes, some were.
Keeping secrets like this is something that may make prospective students curious. They may begin to wonder what kind of standards Wesley really has.
I know I do now. And it’s not because Wesley isn’t a good school. It’s because its administration refuses to be straight with the newspaper and its students.