EDITORIAL: Arts Faculty, Don’t Gut the Language Requirement

The Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee’s recommended changes to the College’s language requirements, in particular the halving of the credit requirement from 11 to 6, are misguided and should not be adopted by the arts college faculty today. Foreign language is and should remain an integral part of a liberal arts education, and the proposed changes will only do a disservice to students and departments throughout the college. The committee (on which no language professors sit) notes that students often find the current requirements burdensome; many students aim to take a single intermediate-level semester of a language they studied in high school, and some even transfer out of the College to avoid those courses. While this may be true, the response to such apathy should not be to lessen what is expected of undergraduates. If students have issues with foreign language classes at Cornell, those issues should be addressed, not swept under the rug by lowering the requirements altogether.

MORADI | Dump the Distributions, Open up the Curriculum

The great scam of Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences is that it fails to provide a liberal arts education despite purporting to do so. And with a $54,584-a-year price tag at that. In a comprehensive final report on recommended changes to the undergraduate curriculum, the Arts & Sciences Curriculum Review Committee suggested a simplification of the current system of distribution requirements. Instead of a confusing matrix of requirements, the Committee recommends requiring students to take one course in a simple set of 10 categories. The Committee’s proposal is a reshuffling of a curricular system that has promised a curriculum of breadth but instead left students with a failed curriculum of distraction.