It’s the most dreadful moment of registering for classes for most students: knowing that, no matter what, you have to get those core humanities classes out of the way at one point or another.
However, that could soon possibly change.
Over the last couple semesters, there has been extensive talk of changing the requirements for the core curriculum across the board. With the introduction of the Silver and Blue Plans, which outline two different routes for the changes that will take place in required classes, the hottest topic of conversation across campus seems to be the core humanities requirements.
Along with dropping the number of credits to graduate from 128 down to 120, there is the possibility that core humanities 201 will be dropped as a requirement all together.
Everyone has an opinion on this, from students to teachers alike. Some professors believe that it will leave students unprepared for the subsequent courses to follow, not having knowledge of periods prior to the 13th century.
This sounds exciting to many students, because whether you want to admit it or not, we’ve all moaned and groaned about having to take these classes at one point or another.
The largest section of the student population that seems to complain are STEM students, mainly because they feel that it doesn’t apply to them and that their style and manner of thought is not conducive to that which is necessary for the time-consuming and lengthy papers in core humanities.
It’s true that all students learn differently; however, this should be reason as to why the classes should stay. The point of an undergraduate degree is more than just your specialization — it’s to become a well-rounded individual, who can think on varying levels and comment on many different subjects. No one sees intense debate about required math and science classes from the liberal arts kids.
And even students whose majors lie in the liberal arts aren’t exactly the biggest fans of the classes themselves. There are plenty of things that liberal arts students learn in other classrooms that are also lectured about in a CH class, and for that reason many students feel it is a waste of time.
There are solid arguments for all of these things. But the case for core humanities is equally valid. Learning about the humanities will make you a more diverse individual as well as teach you some very valuable skills, such as writing an effective paper in which you can clearly state your purpose and point in a concise way.
It will also widen the realm of thought on politics, literature, science and more. These are topics often talked about at social gatherings and in work places — even if you’re an engineer, these topics will come to surface, and CH prepares you to engage in an eloquent manner.
However, there are some flaws in the system. Core humanities is obviously not a specialization of any professor, and the most common people who get pulled into teaching these classes are generally English or history professors. It’s not to say that they can’t do it well, because there are some enigmatic professors on this campus, but they tend to center their core humanities classes around their own specializations, which can be distracting and annoying for everyone involved.
The classes also bring about a heap of work. We all go into college at least having some knowledge that we will face the next four to six years with a seemingly endless pile of work to do, but when every class believes that you must, and will, spend 10 hours a week outside of class on your work? Completely unrealistic. Not a single one of us do. And those who have their nose to the grindstone enough to pull that off probably don’t work or don’t sleep. Maybe both.
It would be inaccurate to say that the core humanities problems don’t need to be fixed. However, the problem should not be solved by dropping any or all of the classes, but by restructuring them in a way that is conducive to both student and professor.
The Nevada Sagebrush editorial staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.