New writing program will lead to stronger students
The implementation of the new writing center in the fall of 2012 should help improve more than just writing on campus. First of all, it will hopefully help eliminate the age-old stigma on campus that taking a COMM class means you cannot write. With the requirement that everyone on campus has to take a writing seminar in his or her freshman year, we believe that the university will have leveled the playing field.
Though many engineers have objected to the new requirement, the fact that the seminar will count for distribution credit is a decision that makes it reasonable for students from all majors to be able to take this class. Furthermore, each department may choose to allow specific seminars to count for major requirements, which will help alleviate other worries that the class will take up too much time.
Additionally, since students from many different majors may be put together in the same classes, people from diverse majors will have the chance to get to know each other. Since the entire campus will eventually have taken a freshman seminar, we hope the campus cultural divide between engineering and humanities majors is on its way to being bridged.
Since students will have to take the class in their freshman year, they will be able to use what they learn for the rest of their time at Rice. Writing education in high school is often not standardized, so students come into Rice with varying degrees of writing ability. Writing is important for all majors and career paths, so an ability to write well can only help Rice students in the future.
With the new Center for Written, Oral and Visual Communication, which will be located on the second floor of Fondren, the importance of writing will be further solidified on campus. The accesibilty of the area for the center should make it convenient for students who need communication help. We are happy the university has decided to fund this project and to give it the prominence that it deserves.
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