MAST students give BBC high school vibes 

BBC's Wolfe University Center. | Dioslyn Oliva, PantherNOW

Dioslyn Oliva | Staff Writer

Students leave high school not wanting to back. Yet sharing FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus with high schoolers makes it feel like we’re back in high school.

As a college student constantly at BBC, I’m annoyed with having to share our campus with MAST students. The smaller campus, the tight-knit environment, and especially the peaceful feeling and aura are what make the campus comforting and cozy to me. High schoolers running and constantly yelling around the buildings ruin it. 

In Florida, over 60,000 students participate in dual enrollment annually so it’s no surprise that a university like FIU participates in a partnership like this. Dual enrollment is a program that allows high schoolers to take college classes that give them the privilege to obtain high school and college credit at the same time.

But these partnerships seem to disregard the inconveniences that high schoolers on campus may create for their actual college students. In this case are high schoolers from the Marine Academy of Science and Technology at BBC. 

BBC has hosted MAST students since 2013. High schoolers who attend MAST@FIU are considered to be academically qualified students who can receive a blended high school and college experience in marine biology and environmental science. 

Considering that BBC hosts the marine biology program and is located in Biscayne Bay, it’s understandable why MAST is there. The public magnet school has various campuses throughout Miami Dade County, but the MAST@FIU campus was made to cater to students in the North Miami area. 

It’s also considered to be one of FIU’s achievements as the only public university with this type of partnership with a public high school in Florida.

With about 500 students MAST doesn’t have many students compared to other high schools. Yet their students seem to be everywhere but their designated classrooms during school hours.

As a freshman who graduated from high school this year, the thought of being in high school all over again pops up in my head from time to time. 

MAST students are assumed to be responsible students due to the academic standards of their school, yet many of them act immaturely on campus. When walking in hallways during active lectures, they often disrupt the learning environment by talking loudly, causing unnecessary noise and distracting not only students but professors as well. 

Apart from acting immaturely, they use spaces meant for FIU students, faculty and staff. I love to eat at Roary’s Dining Room in the Wolfe Center, but I’ve recently found myself steering away from the area because MAST students take up the space. It’s difficult to find a comfortable place to eat and wind down after class or during my break from work. 

This doesn’t make much sense since they have a school building with a cafeteria. 

During the Taste of the Bay event on Oct. 4, it was highly noticeable through their navy blue uniforms that many participants were MAST students. They received free food samples from the vendors, while members of the student body, including myself, got little to nothing.

It’s not fair for them to participate in these events. FIU students pay numerous fees through financial aid, scholarships and additional funds to help fund these events.

Considering that FIU is an open campus, I understand there isn’t much that the MAST administration can do after school hours. Yet I’ve noticed that MAST students are primarily on campus during their school hours from 7:20 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. It’s only fitting that there should be some rules and regulations for MAST students during their time at BBC. 

BBC is a tranquil campus and MAST students are part of our community. Still, they shouldn’t be able to freely walk around campus and take advantage of resources for FIU’s actual college students. 

The administration at FIU and MAST should consider creating and enforcing stricter rules. Boundaries are meant to be respected and MAST students should do so. Especially when they’re guests on our campus.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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