Editorial: Colleges need to step up student programs

As any upperclassman will tell you, November is the critical time to go on job interviews to secure either employment or a summer internship. This is the case for students enrolled in any of the University’s five colleges, however, it seems that in the case of helping students get jobs after graduation, some students are more privileged than others.

There’s little dispute that students enrolled in the College of Commerce and Finance receive the most help in securing employment. The recent Career Fair is an excellent example of this. The September event, hosted by Career Services, featured a vast number of employers from firms, such as BASF Corp., Campbell’s Soup, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Ernst & Young LLP and Peterson Consulting Inc. all seeking to hire business students, particularly those studying accountancy and finance – the two most catered-to programs of study.

While the event did host several employers seeking non-business students, the overwhelming pressure that the Career Fair creates toward arts, sciences, nursing and engineering students to pursue a path in business is not fair.

The logical question, then, is who is at fault for the business school getting such special treatment? After all, not only has it received more help in seeking employment (including their own officer to assist with finding internships), they have also enjoyed a multimillion dollar renovation to Bartley Hall, as well as a laptop program which utilizes some of the most up-to-date technology.

Meanwhile, the arts college is rewarded with a building dedicated to faculty use, while their students operate out of the decrepit Tolentine Hall and nursing students are tucked away in St. Mary’s Hall.

Many of the renovations to the business school have come in the tenure of dean Thomas Monahan, who is in his seventh year of running the commerce and finance school. Rather than disdain the man for creating so many opportunities for his students, however, the heads of the other colleges should take a good, hard look at their initiatives for each of their respective programs.

Every student has different ideas on what could be done to improve his or her academic experience, some feasible and others ridiculous. We believe that the efforts of the new Dean of Engineering, Barry Johnson, would be an excellent starting point for the rest of the University. In his first few months on the job, Johnson has sought out student input by conducting a roundtable discussion (one of a series) to find out what students need as well as gauge his own ideas about what needs to be done for the school. This is a concept the rest of Villanova can benefit from, as most arts students probably feel a Tolentine renovation would have been of more use than a new health center.

We certainly shouldn’t criticize Monahan for trying to raise the bar for his own students – or Career Services for responding to the growth of the college. Rather, we must ask when the rest of the University will catch up to the leaps and bounds the business school has taken.