Keep on Workin’
With a new year and new semester, I believe it is the opportunity for all to turn over a new leaf and make past goals become realities.
I certainly think the election of several new qualified student leaders in the Student Government Association will definitely help the organization accomplish its goals this semester.
Now I personally have not made as many allies in the SGA as I had hoped to, in part because I didn’t express myself in the way best suited to solving problems in the organization in the past. Realizing this, I have decided to come back and work for what is best for the school by serving on the Legal and Governmental Affairs and Academic Affairs Committees, as well as the Sophomore Class Council. I am not there to forward my own reputation or cause trouble, but rather to work with the other talented student leaders we have to make this school a better place.
I for one believe this is a time to leave problems from the past in the past and move forward toward the future.
I wrote a play too!
In the Feb. 1 issue of The Signal, I read the article on WIRED, and I have just one question: Why, The Signal, did you mention every play but mine? Why did you neglect to mention the play representing the sin of Wrath, “Burning Down the House,” written by Andrew Erkkila and myself and directed by Helen Walters? Did you think that if you only mentioned six out of seven plays no one would notice? Well I noticed, The Signal, and it hurts me deep down inside.
It’s very important that you tell me why you ignored me, The Signal. Did you not like my play? I’m sorry if you didn’t think it was funny. Maybe we can sit down and talk about it. Would you like that, The Signal?
I’m not mad, just hurt. I thought you cared about me, The Signal. Maybe I was wrong. I hope we can still be friends.
In all seriousness, though, learn to proofread. A lot of people worked hard on that play, and when you make a point to at least mention every other play, it makes one wonder if you’re making this personal.
Defeating the Beast that is Liberal Learning
As every student is acutely aware, the College mandates a certain level of interdisciplinarity in what is called the “liberal learning breadth requirement.” This is familiar to most of us as the leftmost column on our program planners. We all know the familiar phrases “World Views and Ways of Knowing” and “Literary, Visual and Performing Arts.” Or maybe I’m just an academic affairs nerd.
Either way, few people realize that there is more than one way to satisfy the liberal learning requirements. In fact, there are three.
1. You can simply take courses that satisfy the breadth of requirements as laid out by the office of Liberal Learning. This option requires the least amount of short-term academic planning, but is also possibly the most boring option.
2. The second option is to choose from a list of “interdisciplinary concentrations.” These range from “Religious Studies” to “Gender, Nation and Democracy” to “Cognitive Science.” Essentially, you can achieve the same interdisciplinarity of earning a minor, but satisfy your liberal learning requirements at the same time! And there are already 14 concentrations, with at least five more expected by the end of this year.
3. The final option is to design your own program. How about 19th Century Studies? American Intellectual Contributions? Any concentration is possible: you just have to find a faculty member to approve it. And on this campus, that can’t possibly be a problem.
So why do all this work, you ask? Well, for one, it means fewer courses. The standard breadth requirement requires eight to nine courses, but concentrations can be as few as six courses. Also, it means taking classes that interest you and avoiding taking classes just to fulfill a liberal learning requirement.
For more information, feel free to contact me personally by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our forums at tcnj.edu/~sga and click “Speak Out.” I will be happy to work with individual students to make their academic lives just a little bit more enjoyable.
This is quite an opportunity, and I hope you will take advantage of it.
S. Lee Whitesell II
Vice President, Academic Affairs
Student Government Association