Tulane lacks space in classes covering new, diverse topics

Daniel Horowitz, Associate Views Editor

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This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Tulane offers a vast scope of majors, minors and courses, covering a wide variety of subject areas. At a reputable institution such as Tulane, a broad range of course content is beneficial for a holistic education. When a school prioritizes certain courses over others it risks making specific departments and subjects feel less important.

As new social issues arise, universities introduce new fields of study in an attempt to educate and inform people regarding the context of the issue from multiple perspectives. For example, “Critical Race Theory” is a course designed to teach students about the structural nature of racism and its effects on our society.

This communication class tends to be popular to students who are declared communication majors, as well as those who are not. It is a class with a maximum occupancy of 35 students, it gathers a long waiting list and it is crashed by many students on the first day who were previously unable to register for the course. There is only one section of this course, which is only offered once a year.

This class is one of many courses that introduces a relatively new area of study that students find interesting, and students who take the course end up in crowded class sessions where a main concern for some students is finding a desk.

There are smaller majors and departments, like Africana studies or gender and sexuality studies, that seek to introduce students to new subjects. These subject areas, however, do not seem to be a priority considering many of the course requirements draw from other departments, and the professors appear to work in other departments.

We should be encouraging Tulane to build these departments because it is important to respect the priorities of different students. While some Tulane students maintain their focus on studying business or the sciences, there are others who genuinely want to study within these smaller departments.

By not paying attention to these departments and keeping them at their current size, we are essentially discouraging students from declaring majors in these departments since they do not seem important to the school.

Many colleges and universities advocate the need to ensure that each student acquires a well-rounded education. If this goal is truly important, then academic institutions like Tulane will recognize the need to treat all majors and minors differently and encourage professors to keep teaching new, more radical courses.

Not only would increasing the amount and recurrence of these courses encourage students to embrace their passions, but it will also prove that students can actually obtain a holistic education.

Daniel is a junior at Newcomb-Tulane College. He can be reached at [email protected]