Every week a sprawl of students who aren’t quite old enough to attend college joyfully frolic around campus, annoying many of the current UH students trying to go about their day. The posts on social media begin, complaining about the children on campus clogging up the pathways and being in the way.
While you may hate when these kids come to campus, no matter the age, why not just leave them alone? Coming to campus is a big deal for them. They get a day off of school, but they also get to come to a college campus and feel a tiny bit grown up for once.
The little ones run around the Student Center South, clamoring to get their Chik-fil-a or Starbucks; a welcome treat that’s unavailable at their schools. They may be an annoyance to UH students trying to get lunch during a 30-minute break from class. But in the eyes of the visiting students, it’s a unique experience to buy Chick-fil-a with their (parent’s) money on a college campus.
Imagine being young again and coming to UH; for an hour or so you get to see the wonders of a college campus — the dorms, the classrooms and all the other things that make college wonderful. It can only be described as a magical experience — especially since the fountains are running again.
Many of the schools that tour the campus come from Houston Independent School District. HISD is quite a poor district, with about 75 percent of students living below the poverty line, even though it encompasses some of the more wealthy areas in the greater Houston area. On top of a high poverty rate, minorities comprise 91.6 percent of the district’s students. Minority students who live in poverty are much more likely not to graduate from high school or attend college.
The elementary and junior high tours that annoy UH students are pushing younger kids to graduate by showing them an achievable end to school, and a fun one at that.
So whenever you see a gaggle of schoolchildren running around campus on a tour, understand why they are here. See them as future Coogs, not as pests clogging up the food lines when you’re late for class. It’s a big deal for them, so be happy our school is proactive enough to make children want to come to our amazing campus and top-tier university.
Assistant opinion editor Jorden Smith is a political science and creative writing junior and can be reached at [email protected]