Ferris State’s ghost of classes past

Students and professors ring in 2020 with their memories of the past and hopes for the future

With the new year came a new decade for Ferris students and faculty, and with that many are reminiscing of past decades as well as sharing their hopes for the future.

Many students haven’t been here long enough to remember much from the past decade, but some, such as Ferris English senior London Richardson, have been here for five years. According to Richardson, the increased security on campus is a great thing, but the renovations across campus come at the cost of parking space. Richardson also reminisced about the largest event she’s seen on campus, a concert by Lupe Fiasco in the North Quad. Richardson has high hopes for Ferris’ future, parking issues aside.

“What I hope to see in the next in the decade is that Ferris invest in more light so that people will feel more safe walking at night, more parking and for there to be more teachers who actually love their jobs,” Richardson said.

Ferris English and Creative Writing Professor Deirdre Fagan has also been at Ferris for the past five years, and shared her memories and hopes for the future, mainly in regard to her programs here at Ferris. Her creative writing program has gone through a lot of growth over the time she’s been here at Ferris, and she hopes to see more growth in the coming years. Changes have already been happening within several humanities programs, including the English program, and the English Education program is up next, according to Fagan, and for good reason.

“Nationally we are seeing a return to the Humanities as the demand for critical thinking and writing skills and versatility in the market continues to grow,” Fagan said. “The world is becoming more and more international–speaking multiple languages also better prepares students for the job market … Additionally, study abroad offers our students a wider world view and my department offers a number of opportunities in this area.”

Ferris French Professor Daniel Noren has been here for the entire last decade and before that. During this time, he has seen the rise of computers and the internet and remarked on how quiet the hallways are now that students email their professors rather than having to ask their questions after class. Noren also shared his concerns about cell phones hindering his French students’ practice of the language.

“For many years, I would invite students to our home for French film nights and crèpe parties,” Noren said. “A few years ago, one evening, I went to the living room to announce that it was time to view the film, and to my dismay found all ten of the group sitting around and texting their friends. I was hoping that they would be engaging in French conversation with some new-found friends, but that would have been more consistent with the social interactions/interlocutions of the pre-cell phone era.”