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CSU implements changes to GE humanities requirements

Lower requirement for cultural identity classes leads to protests on other CSU campuses.

The+decrease+in+the+number+of+humanitites+courses+required+to+graduate+has+led+to+outrage+on+other+CSU+campuses+where+some+students+claim+this+decision+will+limit+students%E2%80%99+exposure+to+varying+cultural+perspectives.
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CSU implements changes to GE humanities requirements

The decrease in the number of humanitites courses required to graduate has led to outrage on other CSU campuses where some students claim this decision will limit students’ exposure to varying cultural perspectives.

The decrease in the number of humanitites courses required to graduate has led to outrage on other CSU campuses where some students claim this decision will limit students’ exposure to varying cultural perspectives.

David Pradel

The decrease in the number of humanitites courses required to graduate has led to outrage on other CSU campuses where some students claim this decision will limit students’ exposure to varying cultural perspectives.

David Pradel

David Pradel

The decrease in the number of humanitites courses required to graduate has led to outrage on other CSU campuses where some students claim this decision will limit students’ exposure to varying cultural perspectives.

by Aretha Matsushima, Contributor

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California State University-wide changes to general education requirements, which have not yet been implemented at San Diego State, mean students will be taking fewer classes in the humanities category.

Currently, there are four areas of courses students must take in the Foundations of Learning and Explorations of Human Experience category while they are students at SDSU to get a bachelor’s degree. The humanities courses for lower division students are listed under Area C of the A-D general education requirements.

Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Achievement Norah Shultz said in the past, students were required to take four courses in Area C within five categories which included literature, arts, history, philosophy and foreign language.

As of summer 2017, the chancellor’s office issued a revision to reduce the number of GE humanities courses required within Area C and instead create an additional category, Area E, which specializes in lifelong learning skills. Courses offered within this category may be humanities-based but will more likely be within social science related classes, said Shultz.

Humanities-based courses involve topics like Africana studies, Women’s Studies, Chicana and Chicano studies, Mythology, Music and various other cultural classes.

Students will now only have to take three courses from Area C and one course from Area E to fulfill four GE lower division requirements.

“In order to pick up those units and not add credits to general education and make it more burdensome, we are going to only have three courses in Area C and the one area will become Area E,” Shultz said.

The five categories of the GE humanities are to be consolidated into two more broad sub-areas. Category one will contain arts-related courses, while category two will be a combination of humanities and literature.

Shultz said the CSU system made the revision in order to streamline all CSU campuses so the requirements remain the same throughout all schools. Transfer students from community colleges and across the state will be able to match up with the material, making it easier for students to graduate on time.

While many CSU campuses have already implemented the new curriculum this school year, SDSU was approved to delay the addition until 2019 to finalize changes within Area C and the new Area E.

In response to the decision to reduce humanities courses, other schools within the CSU system have expressed extreme opposition. Students at CSU Northridge protested the executive order due to the belief it threatens opportunities for students to learn about culture and diversity, according to a Sept. 16 article in the Los Angeles Times.

Some students at SDSU also said they believe this change to negatively impact their ability to learn in a diverse environment.

Speech language and hearing sciences junior Michelle Harrison said he is concerned about those who are not in majors that would generally focus on humanities.

“This affects students essentially because some students don’t necessarily choose majors that have to do with the humanities, and those kinds of classes are very important in finding out your identity and how you can be proud of that,” Harrison said.

In a formal statement, the Asian Pacific Student Alliance, one of many cultural groups on campus, said the decision will limit the perspectives students will be informed of through their courses.

“As a college of diverse students, we must promote an education that reflects our diverse population and reminds students that there is more culture to be learned beyond the Eurocentric perspective,” they said in their statement.

Harrison said, with this, there is the threat students may not experience the benefits of being part of a cultural community.

“Culture gives you a community and makes you feel more aware of what’s going on,” said Harrison.

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