In Contrast to the Editorial: Picking Your Own Requirements

By Sean van der Heijden, Editor

There’s always that one class that we really don’t want to take—for some of us it’s the QR2 requirement, or art, or foreign language. We know it won’t serve us any purpose—we just have to get it done. The question is, how to avoid taking that class?

Well, our editorial board was split over this week’s topic—should we have requirements that every student needs to fill? How many should we have—if at all? We reached a compromise, but there was an alternate proposition that some of use agreed with: students must only complete five out of seven of the all-college requirements.

There are a few loopholes but the concept is pretty straightforward: the college would leave it up to the students to decide which of the all-college requirements they want to take. Having requirements in general is important—I have taken a variety of courses including neuroscience, art history, even a course on the Wizard of Oz, all of which I enjoyed. I never would have taken them if it were not for the requirements. I definitely learned a lot from them that I’ve used in other courses and in, well, life.

That being said, we all just try to push through some of the requirements. Let’s call this class “X” to avoid controversy… If I already learned “X” in high school and my major has nothing to do with “X,” then why should I have to waste time and money taking said class?

That’s why this proposition is both economical and practical. Classes are expensive, and wasting money to get through a class where you’re just going to throw all the notes away after and forget everything isn’t the best system. Letting students choose which of the five classes to take lets them maximize their tuition and focus more time onto what they really want to study, or allow them to experiment more in different departments.

But should some requirements be non-negotiable? We all agreed that the expository writing requirement was necessary, and most of us thought the QR2 requirement should stay. These are issues that the Curricular Committee could deliberate, but for the most part, allowing students to have more of a say in what All-College requirements they take seems incredibly beneficial.

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