Opinion

Student government VP against abolition of int’l studies

Last week, a few students from the international studies department were called into a closed meeting with select campus administrators and were told that their department would soon be eliminated from the University. Their hearts dropped, and they immediately began planning their response. Adele Bagley, a junior majoring in international studies, mobilized a meeting with many of the international studies students on Tuesday night, which I attended. Several campus administrators, including Dean Singleton and Dean Wilson, were also there, but Dean Wyche, Vice Provost and Dean of Arts and Sciences, was the most significant administrator in attendance. He fielded questions from all of the students concerning the program and raised some interesting points, but I still had some unanswered questions at the end of the meeting.

On Wednesday morning, I had the liberty to speak with Dean Wyche about these questions. I focused on two major issues. First, will the students majoring in International Studies lose value in their degrees? And second, after this seemingly abrupt decision by the University, will international studies students be compensated?

Dean Wyche guarantees that students majoring in international studies do not need to worry about their degrees being any less valuable or credible. He stressed the importance of the quality of classes that students take and the critical value of a student’s cumulative grade point average in being the chief benefits to any student’s success beyond their undergraduate education. He gave the example of medical school admission officers, who are impressed by students who may major in a subject like English or History while still balancing the difficult load of the pre-med track.

Although I am not studying international studies, I know many students close to me who are.

Saran Stewart is one of many international studies students who disagrees with the Dean. Stewart feels the credibility of the international studies degree will be greatly undermined simply from the fact that during her three years at the University, she has had to experience the closing of the School of International Studies and now the dissolution of the department altogether. Therefore there is no question why the credibility of this entire area of study is in doubt. I feel that the students should receive a much stronger guarantee – in writing – that the credibility of their degrees will not waver. We pay approximately $38,571 in tuition and fees, and we should not have to place our futures in jeopardy.

In addressing the issue of compensation for students here at UM, Wyche strongly encouraged student input in restructuring a new program that will be stronger and can serve in place of the current program. He also guaranteed that all of the students majoring in international studies wishing to apply to post graduate programs, internships, etc. will be able to receive a written recommendation by Dean Wyche himself.

Dean Wyche has promised a proposal to all of the international studies students, which was placed in circulation at Thursday night’s meeting. This proposal is still open to student input and will not be finalized until Jun. 1. As students, we must put our input into this new program, which will affect the many students majoring in international studies. I invite all of the students of the University of Miami to support to support your fellow students in their endeavor to resolve this predicament.

Chris Clark can be contacted at cclark@umsis.miami.edu.

January 30, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

After the Miami Hurricanes football team spent part of its practice on Monday in a torrential downpo ...

Nothing like a comic book cover on steroids to get University of Miami and LSU football fans juiced ...

They are two big bodies with experience, but new to the University of Miami. And the Miami Hurricane ...

Freshman quarterback Jarren Williams, who returned to practice Wednesday after missing most of Tuesd ...

Corey Gaynor is working hard to solidify his spot as backup center to UM senior standout Tyler Gauth ...

Intergroup Dialogue, soon to be offered as a course, fosters a sense of belonging, an appreciation f ...

Aretha Franklin and her music defined “what is soul” to generations of music lovers. ...

The University of Miami kicked into high gear to welcome thousands of new students and ensure move-i ...

UM President Julio Frenk welcomes first-year and transfer students to UM in signature ’Cane Kickoff ...

Miami Law conducts its inaugural Legal Impact Hack for first-year students. ...

In head coach Sarah Barnes' debut at the helm, the University of Miami soccer team won its seas ...

The Hurricanes practiced in the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility for the first time ever on Fri ...

Malik Rosier, Travis Homer and Ahmmon Richards are key returning playmakers, but they are just the b ...

The University of Miami soccer team will travel to Boca Raton, Fla., Friday night as the team kicks ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team returns to the Knight Sports Complex on Saturday at 3 ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.