Promote Involvement and Fight the Man

    According to Marshall College provost Allan Havis, the newcomers are from the literature, sociology, theater and dance, anthropology, philosophy, and poli-sci departments, thus satiating the demand for academic diversity. Faculty-to-TA interaction has also increased, thus allowing TAs to express their concerns and suggestions to attentive ears.

    Program Director Robert Horwitz said nothing is final yet about the proposed fourth course, and in this time of budget cutbacks and general economic crisis, the funding for such an addition may be on hold for quite some time. But no matter the current financial climate, D.O.C. Four, which would likely be upper-division, still presents the review board with the opportunity to make good on its promise to increase student involvement.

    When we’re reading about social injustice or debating it to death in the classroom, we seldom ask ourselves how we could actually start fixing it. After all, we’re just students, and this is just theory ‘mdash; what practical use could it possibly have?

    The D.O.C. Web site enthuses that within the context of its program ‘students have taken part in numerous events on and off the UCSD campus that have helped to establish connections between course themes and contemporary experience.’ Yet while there is indeed the occasional on-campus speaking event, which students attend for the promise of extra credit, off-campus events are virtually nonexistent.

    Offering bonus points for listening to somebody talk is not the same as encouraging students to actually make a difference.

    ‘I personally haven’t met anybody who has taken what they learned from D.O.C. and gone out into the real world,’ Marshall College freshman Oshadhi Jayasuriya said. ‘It’s all theory, they don’t tell us to go out and do anything. It’s just theory, theory, theory.’

    This is regrettable given the D.O.C. program’s emphasis on connecting learning with activism, and Marshall College’s own public-service minor (which ‘very few students take,’ according to Havis).

    One of the program’s main goals is encouraging scholars to move from ‘knowledge to action.’ But even the current restructuring fails to motivate students. While it is unrealistic to turn volunteer action into an upper-division class, the D.O.C. program already primes students for community involvement. The program gives students the building blocks to go out and make a difference by opening their eyes to existing social inequalities, but it falls short in offering realistic tools or resources that students could use to spark change.

    As any student who’s lamented walking 50 feet from their dorm to a dining hall knows, we can barely be motivated to do much of anything on our own.

    If and when D.O.C. Four is added, it should be an elective course that encourages public service.

    Instead of just writing a paper on the theory or history of social inequalities, this class could allow students to plan their own individual projects under the supervision of a professor. Students could choose a sector that interests them ‘mdash; be it public education, legislation or transportation ‘mdash; and respond to the social inadequacies they find in that sector.

    This response could take the form of a research paper, a proposal for a new program or a log coupled with reflective essays of a volunteer experience within the community. The degree of self-determination inherent in the course would cause students to translate their previous knowledge from the D.O.C. program into activism, thereby fulfilling the D.O.C. mission statement. Ultimately this course could help overcome the barriers outlined in the first three D.O.C. courses.

    This involvement should not be exclusive to D.O.C. Four ‘mdash; the first three D.O.C. classes could relate to the real world as well through a local outreach project.

    For example, in the D.O.C. Two course, which focuses on justice, students could do a research project about the American Civil Liberties Union and their recent fight against Proposition 8 legislation. An option like this would foster student ties with the community, and give students a practical idea of what people are doing locally to fight for civil rights.

    With enough funding, administrators could create a program that balanced the academic demands of Marshall College’s civil rights origins with the very real need for activism.
    Such a course would follow the flow of the previous D.O.C. classes; Diversity, Justice and Imagination teach students to see the barriers present in society, and D.O.C. Four could help students tear them down.

    Readers can contact Hayley Bisceglia-Martin at [email protected].

    ” />

    ON CAMPUS ‘mdash; Every quarter it seems we’re obligated to take at least one course on similar, depressing subjects like poverty and racism. That’s certainly no exception for Thurgood Marshall College students, who may be required to take a fourth Dimensions of Culture course. If approved, D.O.C. Four should promote concrete activism rather than more paper writing.

    The three classes that make up the general-education writing program ‘mdash; ‘Diversity,’ ‘Justice,’ and ‘Imagination’ ‘mdash; seek to enlighten students about the barriers that class and race erect in our society. But even classes geared specifically toward changing our perspectives can end up ineffective and lost in the heat of academic squabbling.

    Controversy within the D.O.C. curriculum first emerged in Spring Quarter 2007. It was then that two teaching assistants for the course were allegedly not rehired for the 2007-08 school year because of their objections to the program’s design. Following their dismissal, an enraged group’ comprised of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members formed in response, calling itself the Lumumba-Zapata Coalition. The group, along with unaffiliated students and faculty members, made’ a series of recommendations for the program. A newly formed review board for the program agreed with those suggestions in April 2008, and decided to revamp D.O.C..

    So far, the changes have consisted mostly of introducing more diverse professors.

    According to Marshall College provost Allan Havis, the newcomers are from the literature, sociology, theater and dance, anthropology, philosophy, and poli-sci departments, thus satiating the demand fo
    r academic diversity. Faculty-to-TA interaction has also increased, thus allowing TAs to express their concerns and suggestions to attentive ears.

    Program Director Robert Horwitz said nothing is final yet about the proposed fourth course, and in this time of budget cutbacks and general economic crisis, the funding for such an addition may be on hold for quite some time. But no matter the current financial climate, D.O.C. Four, which would likely be upper-division, still presents the review board with the opportunity to make good on its promise to increase student involvement.

    When we’re reading about social injustice or debating it to death in the classroom, we seldom ask ourselves how we could actually start fixing it. After all, we’re just students, and this is just theory ‘mdash; what practical use could it possibly have?

    The D.O.C. Web site enthuses that within the context of its program ‘students have taken part in numerous events on and off the UCSD campus that have helped to establish connections between course themes and contemporary experience.’ Yet while there is indeed the occasional on-campus speaking event, which students attend for the promise of extra credit, off-campus events are virtually nonexistent.

    Offering bonus points for listening to somebody talk is not the same as encouraging students to actually make a difference.

    ‘I personally haven’t met anybody who has taken what they learned from D.O.C. and gone out into the real world,’ Marshall College freshman Oshadhi Jayasuriya said. ‘It’s all theory, they don’t tell us to go out and do anything. It’s just theory, theory, theory.’

    This is regrettable given the D.O.C. program’s emphasis on connecting learning with activism, and Marshall College’s own public-service minor (which ‘very few students take,’ according to Havis).

    One of the program’s main goals is encouraging scholars to move from ‘knowledge to action.’ But even the current restructuring fails to motivate students. While it is unrealistic to turn volunteer action into an upper-division class, the D.O.C. program already primes students for community involvement. The program gives students the building blocks to go out and make a difference by opening their eyes to existing social inequalities, but it falls short in offering realistic tools or resources that students could use to spark change.

    As any student who’s lamented walking 50 feet from their dorm to a dining hall knows, we can barely be motivated to do much of anything on our own.

    If and when D.O.C. Four is added, it should be an elective course that encourages public service.

    Instead of just writing a paper on the theory or history of social inequalities, this class could allow students to plan their own individual projects under the supervision of a professor. Students could choose a sector that interests them ‘mdash; be it public education, legislation or transportation ‘mdash; and respond to the social inadequacies they find in that sector.

    This response could take the form of a research paper, a proposal for a new program or a log coupled with reflective essays of a volunteer experience within the community. The degree of self-determination inherent in the course would cause students to translate their previous knowledge from the D.O.C. program into activism, thereby fulfilling the D.O.C. mission statement. Ultimately this course could help overcome the barriers outlined in the first three D.O.C. courses.

    This involvement should not be exclusive to D.O.C. Four ‘mdash; the first three D.O.C. classes could relate to the real world as well through a local outreach project.

    For example, in the D.O.C. Two course, which focuses on justice, students could do a research project about the American Civil Liberties Union and their recent fight against Proposition 8 legislation. An option like this would foster student ties with the community, and give students a practical idea of what people are doing locally to fight for civil rights.

    With enough funding, administrators could create a program that balanced the academic demands of Marshall College’s civil rights origins with the very real need for activism.
    Such a course would follow the flow of the previous D.O.C. classes; Diversity, Justice and Imagination teach students to see the barriers present in society, and D.O.C. Four could help students tear them down.

    Readers can contact Hayley Bisceglia-Martin at [email protected].

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