Student taught course program at Rice is cutting-edge
Student-Student-taught courses have become quite popular at Rice, and we're not alone in our affinity for them (See story, pg. 1). An interest in student-taught courses is sweeping across the country with Rice at the very forefront of the movement.
This past weekend two Rice students hosted a conference about student-taught courses which was attended by a national audience. Student-taught courses provide students the unique opportunity to cultivate a personal passion and share it with their peers. This program is beneficial to a great portion of the student body and gives students a way to refocus their education on learning instead of making the grades.
Granted the recent national growth in student-taught courses, in addition to our own past success with them, it is regrettable that Rice would consider cutting funding to this program. Student-taught courses are already a well-ingrained tradition in Rice culture, whereas other colleges are just now trying to incorporate the program in their curriculums. We are a pioneer in this field and we should seek to stay ahead instead of falling behind. ALFA recommendations included a budget for student-taught courses and the Thresher challenges the administration to match this allocation.
The Thresher hopes that the recent convention serves as a wake-up call for the administration: Student-taught courses are not to be neglected. While Rice is at the cutting edge of this national movement, it is imperative that we ensure our student-taught courses program has the resources it needs to thrive if we mean to stay there.
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In the midst of a global pandemic, Betsy DeVos, the United States Secretary of Education, announced new Title IX regulations that govern how schools handle allegations of sexual assault and harrassment. Under the guise of restoring due process, the changes harm and undermine survivors by enhancing protections for those accused of misconduct.
The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have given rise to a new phrase that has been thrown around by media outlets and social media users across the country: “We are all in this together.” Don’t get me wrong — I am not denying the fact that every person in this country has been impacted by the virus in some capacity, and I am certainly not denying the rise in local expressions of solidarity. Over the past couple months, we’ve seen students and volunteers across the country donate their time and resources to help their neighbors. Young people have come together on social media platforms to address issues surrounding mental health and online learning, creating a sense of community while also practicing social distancing. I am not denying the presence of solidarity. What I would like to discuss, however, is the fallacy of solidarity in a racialized society.
The pandemic might justify making tests optional for the upcoming admission cycle, though I still think they should be strongly encouraged for those who can take it, but I don’t think de-emphasizing tests in the long term is the right approach.