UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | October 01, 2022

Starfish program not appropriate for university students

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I couldn’t wait for my high school graduation because that meant high school was finally over.

Or so I thought until I came to Dixie State University, where I found out it’s not much different from being babied like I had been throughout high school.

My entire life I’ve been told if I went to a university, no one would care if I didn’t turn in an assignment or if I ever decided to skip class; they said I’d be on my own.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic to break away from nagging teachers harassing me on assignments and finally be treated like an independent adult. Those visions were put to an abrupt stop after hearing about the Starfish program.

Starfish is a database used by Dixie State’s very own administration to monitor its students’ progress. An example of how a professor would use this site is if students are missing assignments or not showing up for any reason, the professor can put it on this website that would alert them, along with their advisers, which is exactly what happened to me.

I received an email stating my professor made the student success center aware of a concern with my performance in class. That concern was that I had unimportant assignments missing.

My immediate reaction was pure embarrassment, which then led to anger. What business was it to the student success center that I had a missing assignment in one of my classes? That information was my personal business, and what I had done, or hadn’t done, was entirely my private business.

Professors and administration claim it is to help the students succeed and help with student retention. Although it does show their concern, I thought Dixie State was now a university. What other university invades its students’ personal privacy? I signed up to attend Dixie State University — not Dixie State High School.

I pay thousands of dollars to attend school here. If I decide to not turn in an assignment or miss a class for any reason, I believe I have the right to do so. I am an adult, and I reserve the right to make any decision I see fit.

I shouldn’t be harassed and have my personal choices broadcasted to my adviser and the student success center. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate my professors’ concerns, but I believe in the old fashioned way of discussing conflicts face to face.

If our professors truly cared for us, they would pull us aside and have a one-on-one talk to see if there was any way to help, not resort to adding a negative comment on Starfish where it would be sent to people who don’t have knowledge of what we are doing firsthand.

Starfish is an intrusion to Dixie State students’ private and personal choices. Our business is our own, and our professors don’t have the right to inform anyone of mistakes made in their classroom. Dixie State’s administration should be treating us as the university students we now are.

Put a stop to the Starfish program that, in the end, treats us as nothing more than high schoolers who have no personal privacy. And although it might be timely for some professors, if there is a problem, teachers should confront us face to face, or if they would like to use technology to communicate their concerns, send us a private email.