Warren College Engineers Flexible Equilibrium

The Catamaran Resort was filled with the aroma of prime rib and scrumptious appetizers. Pieces of cheesecake, lemon cake and coffee cake were everywhere. Music like Akon and Britney Spears blared, and hookah in assorted fruit flavors accompanied a priceless ocean view from the balcony. Dressed to impress, students soaked in the luxurious atmosphere.

Jennifer Hsu/Guardian

“”My most memorable [event] at Warren was the semiformal ‘A Night of Espionage,'”” former Warren College Student Council member and freshman Cathy Le said in an e-mail. “”Besides the event surpassing 600 presale tickets, it was well-organized. It took place at a beautiful resort. You could take advantage of the delicious three-course meal and beverages served in champagne glasses, then go out on the dance floor. When it got too hot, we just went on the balcony and enjoyed some hookah while staring out at Mission Beach.””

The event is one of many that the WCSC and the Warren Transfer and Commuter Commission organize and host annually. Programs include events like barbecues and finals-week study breaks as well as large-scale affairs like the semiformal and its “”Valentine’s Ball on the Bay,”” a dance on a cruise liner circling the San Diego bay.

Warren was created to be UCSD’s preprofessional school. It continued that development by creating the Academic Internship Program in 1976, and forming the law and society and health care and social issues minors. Earl Warren, famous for his society-changing Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, ended school segregation in the United States in order to work toward a more well-rounded country. When the fourth college was named after him, provosts and faculty members decided on the motto: “”Toward a life in balance.””

“”Earl Warren believed in balance,”” Warren Provost Steven Adler said. “”We try to find that balance for our students.””

Warren students take two quarters of writing, and an Ethics and Society class, based on Earl Warren’s judicial and philosophical precepts. Each student must choose two area studies in subjects noncontiguous to their major. Engineers are permitted to do one area study as a nod to their extensive major requirements, a key reason Warren has a reputation as the engineering school. Still, this system was developed to create well-rounded individuals.

“”I chose Warren because the general education classes were flexible,”” Warren freshman Mona Kim said. “”I am able to pick the courses that I want to take. I chose urban studies and planning and humanities to accompany my structural engineering major. I feel like I have a lot of freedom to grow in different areas.””

About 30 percent of Warren students are engineering majors, 20 percent biology, 10 percent economics and 5 percent political science, showing a definite dearth in the arts.Those statistics are something that Adler said he wants to see change.

“”I’m convinced that it’s more effective to have a diverse and balanced student body, but because of the general education requirements at Warren, we attract a fair number of engineers,”” Adler said. “”Students at Warren as well as around the campus still refer to Warren as the engineering college, and we’re not. If that were the case, they wouldn’t have appointed a professor of theater and dance to be the provost.””

When appointed in 2004, Adler made his first goal the improvement of general education classes, with the collaboration of Warren faculty and the Warren College Executive Committee. To better address the needs of more contemporary students, Adler worked with Warren faculty members for three years to revise the system.

“”Just recently the faculty of the college approved a slate of changes that we will be proposing to the [Academic] Senate shortly,”” Adler said. “”They’re not radical changes, but changes that … will strengthen the general education requirements.””

General education is a key aspect of life at Warren, attracting students interested in broadening their academic horizons.

“”I think Warren is definitely the best college at UCSD,”” Warren junior Jordan Jozwick said in an e-mail. “”If you get involved in something you like, you will have fun. We have the best programs, the best residential life staff, the best academic affairs staff and even a melting pot of the five other colleges living in our dorms. What’s not to love?””