October 24, 2013

OVERHEARD: Are All Majors Created Equal?

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Statler Lounge:

“I’m doing 12 credits this semester. The only bad thing is my restaurant class; I have to do a lab.”

– Classic Hotelie

“My hardest class is Chinese.”

– Hotelie’s Friend

Post-Prelim Duffield:

“He got an alcove, he must have had a good morning.”

– CS Major that knows about the finer things

The great Cornell debate: are all majors created equal? From the Hotel School to the Engineering quad, the conversation rages on. I am of the mind to say that we are all equal, but this is simply not the case. Getting an A in Oceanography cannot even begin to compare to achieving an A in Fluid Dynamics (what does that even mean?). As the CS majors code, some Hotelies gather at fishbowls to study for their prelim, TA and all. This discrepancy between majors and schools is one that everyone is aware of and everyone loves to talk about. I have heard Arts & Sciences referred to as “Arts & Crafts” on multiple occasions, while in the same breath I scoff at the Human Development majors earning their “Mrs. Degrees.” Now FGSS majors please don’t all jump at once, Cornell’s College of Human Ecology was originally established in 1925 as the College of Home Economics. Previously the women’s college, it now offers a rich curriculum, but the anti-feminist history still remains.

The real question we should be asking ourselves is not how much work we do, but rather how our work contributes to different facets of our society. As prelim season plods on and our tempers become short, we must all remember that every major may not be equal, but they are all valuable.

Where would we be without a Hotelie designing the perfect ambiance, décor and menu for one of the many beer gardens in the city? Who would fight for our rights as we enter the workforce without HR professionals and union organizers? Every major is unique and every major has a purpose. CS majors may stay up a little later than the rest of us, but where would they be without Communications majors making their programs marketable? We all need each other. It is easy to say that a major is a joke; it is harder to move past these assignment biases and realize that no matter the workload, every major is valuable.

Cornell is competitive, this we all know, but next time you are ready to bash someone’s major think about how this makes the person feel. Yes this sounds ridiculously sappy, but it is important to remember that every Cornellian struggles and the more we help each other out, the more we will all succeed.