ULV students have too much on their plates
Posted March 16, 2007

Michelle Ajemian
Staff Writer

There are 168 hours in a week of which 56 hours should be devoted to sleeping, seven hours spent getting dressed, 21 hours used preparing and eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, 16 hours spent in class, hopefully 34 hours dedicated to studying, 20 hours scheduled if you have a part time job and 10 hours a week spent commuting to that part time job and school.

That means students have four hours a week to fit in campus activities including clubs, housing and residential life, Greek life and sports.

There are students at the University of La Verne who are cramming too many campus activities into those mere four hours a week, and as a result students are being spread too thin.

In an informal survey conducted with students on campus who are involved with campus activities most said they feel they are already burnt out, others feel the dreadful burnout fast approaching and some, who have super powers, do not feel the pressure of exhaustion whatsoever.

“I am actually very burned out,” said Gabby De La Cruz, a senior communications major involved in the Campus Activities Board, Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, completing her senior project and working 15 to 20 hours a week. “I feel maybe I took on too much.”

Because students are spending more than their allotted four hours a week, this means that other areas suffer such as school, work and sleep.

“I do tend to put other stuff before school but school is still a priority,” said Liz Canales, a senior behavioral sciences major and is the president of Iota Delta, a Landis Leader Scholar, club and organization coordinator and a member of Order of Omega.

Students often mix school and sleep. Everyone has experienced the head snap when the student finds himself or herself  dozing off, then they are rudely awakened when they feel their head jolting back and forth.  This may be a result of students not getting the recommended amount of sleep per night.

Samantha Dauz, who is involved with the Campus Activities Board, Resident Housing Association and Sigma Kappa gets between five to six hours of sleep a night and if her body gets an additional amount she becomes more tired.

Not getting enough sleep will catch up with students and affect their everyday life.

“Anytime you are sleep deprived the body immune system is not as good as it used to be,” said Dr. Victoria Shook, a physician at the campus health center.

“Poor eating habits which are pretty common in college, lack of sleep, stress, all those things actually impact the immune system and can come out as what we call semantic complaints. You get infections more easily because the immune system is slowed and it can also manifest in complaints of stomach aches,” Shook said.

Dr. Shook suggested that students should eat well, take a multivitamin, exercise and get a good amount of sleep.

Frank Davis, a counselor at the University’s counseling center, also suggested getting plenty of exercise and taking time for yourself.

He used the example of how he reads a book every night regardless of his hectic schedule.

He said, it is more or less about managing your stress and looking at it in a positive light.

“Certain amount of stress is actually good because it helps you perform better,” Davis said.

There are 41 clubs and organizations at the University of La Verne.

If there are so many clubs and organizations then why are the same students involved with everything?

“It does tend to be an issue for us in Student Affairs because we do have the same people that are applying all the time so it isn’t fair to the students because they are getting stressed out because they want to be a resident assistant and they want to be on the Campus Activities Board and there is only so much they can take on,” said Barbara Mulligan, associate director of student life.

Other students have noticed that the same students do everything on campus which causes burn out and the flow of new ideas is not maintained.

“Because it’s a small school you are visible on campus, whereas if you are at a bigger school departments don’t really know what students have been doing a great job in those departments so it is easier to have new leaders,” Canales said. “We have to find ways to cultivate leaders within different areas.”

Whether students enjoy being involved with campus activities because it looks good on their resumes, they enjoy meeting new people or they just enjoy being busy, most agree they wouldn’t change their busy schedules for anything.

Michelle Ajemian can be reached at majemian@ulv.edu.

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