Baby Steps Aside, the Fight for D.O.C. Reform Is Far From Over

    In case anyone has forgotten, Thurgood Marshall College’s Dimensions of Culture writing program has been something of a point of contention over the last year and a half. The highly charged protests and administrative controversy that have surrounded the program since April 2007, however, seem to have slipped almost entirely from the public conscience recently.

    While not uncommon within the scope of such red tape-lined issues, this tendency toward gradual apathy among the campus community places the progress that has been made in resolving the D.O.C. problem in the precarious position of being subjected to the same administrative inattention that spurred the need for protest to begin with.

    The last time D.O.C. came under public scrutiny was this past April, when a town-hall meeting held to address the findings of two separate curriculum review reports bore witness to a perfect display of the disillusionment with which students, faculty and staff had come to regard the program. The forum erupted in accusations of administrative disregard for student input, among leveled suggestions for setting D.O.C. back on course with its original mission.

    Since then, the TMC administration has admittedly taken steps toward applying tangible change to D.O.C. The program’s controversial former director, Abraham Shragge, was ousted from his position following the town-hall meeting, his position since being filled by professors Robert Horowitz and Robert Cancel. Additionally, the formation of a steering committee to guide the implementation of actual reform within the program has been announced, its first meeting to take place spring quarter.

    However, the campus community must continue to question whether these efforts are enough. It was, after all, due to the actions of disgruntled students, faculty and staff that an effort to reform the program was originally undertaken. These same opponents of the stagnant D.O.C. curriculum must maintain their presence within the reform process, seeking to influence these proceedings wherever possible. Students, in particular, for whom D.O.C. exists have a duty to remain abreast of these issues and to actively seek to make their input heard.

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