With the participation of a handful of concerned College students, the Georgetown

College Academic Council resurrected a 1998 tradition by holding an open academic forum Monday night in ICC.

All students in the College received an e-mail invitation to come and voice their complaints, perceived problems and new ideas for the Council to consider.

“We didn’t expect it to be big,” Council President Kristin Thorne (COL ’04) said. “I’m glad to hear we’re already doing stuff that’s a concern.”

The purpose of the meeting was to help the Council form its agenda for the remainder of the 2003-04 school year and expand its impact. By addressing pertinent student concerns, it plans to move beyond the traditional role of organizing the College Ball and Peer Network.

Many of the issues raised at the meeting are already under review by the council, which works with the College Executive Committee, the College Curriculum Committee and the GUSA Academic Affairs Advocacy Committee to make changes to majors, minors and inter-school course selection.

Students who do not sit on the Executive or Curriculum Committee meetings are not allowed to present ideas at either, so onday’s forum offered students the unique opportunity to voice suggestions for the council’s representatives that attend the administrative meetings.

One concern Thorne said that surprised her came from a male student in the Women’s Studies

Program, who would like to see more male representation in the program’s classes.

The issue will be brought before the Executive and Curriculum Committees as they revise the Humanities requirement in the English Department. Women’s Studies courses may count toward general education requirements in the near future.

Complaints concerned the bureaucracy and proliferation of red tape within the College’s majors and minors. Students said that the lack of upper-level course electives in the languages and psychology departments and the American Studies and Catholic Studies programs require the council’s attention.

Many of these concerns are financial, Thorne and Vice-President Christina Supelana (COL ’05) said.

The council is working to make a business minor available to non-business school students. In 1998, a survey of all College students indicated that 95 percent responded that they would be interested in taking a business minor if it were available.

Currently, it is offered only to students studying foreign languages. These students must apply for the program and are then left with the remaining courses after MSB students have registered with their top choices.

Freshman representative Catherine Pontoriero (COL ’07) said she is working with Dean Sue Lorenson to make the business minor available to all College students.

The council said it is also working to encourage more professors to post their course syllabi online. Representatives reported a rapid increase in the amount of available syllabi online since just last spring and sent a letter to all faculty asking them to post their syllabi. The letter provided reasons to post their syllabi, with steps to show them how.

Next semester, the Council plans to hold more academic forums in which they hope more students will again come voice their concerns and ideas for change in the College’s advising and academic structure and curriculum.

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