Justice and Peace Nears Approval for Major
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 02:02
The College Dean’s Office approved a preliminary budget for a Justice and Peace Studies major, marking the first step toward the establishment of a program that has been the focus of student advocacy in recent months.
The budget, which Interim JUPS Director Mark Lance said would cover salaries for adjunct professors needed to teach additional courses and buyouts of professors’ time currently allotted to teaching in other departments, encouraged faculty to create a proposal to present to the College Executive Board. With knowledge of the budget that would be allotted for the major, faculty and students will be able to draft a realistic proposal.
“This is the first step,” former JUPS Director and current Director of the Center for Social Justice Andria Wisler wrote in an email. “The proposal for the major will now go through all of the regular procedures to gain approval.”
Lance agreed, stressing that the JUPS major is still in the early developmental phase. He said that College Dean Chester Gillis has requested a proposal for the major, and the College has provided a budget sufficient to staff the courses, although a major proposal has yet to be put together.
Gillis confirmed the uncertainty surrounding the major.
“It is up for consideration but has not been approved,” he wrote in an email.
Lance will create a committee composed of faculty from the program’s steering committee to write the proposal, which will subsequently be submitted to the curriculum committee. Final approval would then come from the Board of Directors.
Kyla McClure (COL ’15) and Gianna Maita (COL ’15), who spearheaded the JUPS major effort, said that they were excited about the recent progress.
“We are looking very hopefully in the direction of a major officially forming in the next few years,” Maita said. “For that, we are very excited, though we know there is still a lot of work to be done.”
According to McClure, they were inspired by JUPS courses they took as freshmen and originally hoped to pursue a JUPS minor.
“We had both been impacted by our Intro to Justice and Peace Studies courses and saw the value in the field of study,” McClure said. “Fortunately, we found a good network already in place by faculty who had already begun to think about making JUPS a major.”
Maita and McClure presented a proposal to Gillis in the fall, from which research will be incorporated into the official major proposal. This budget approval is the first development the pair has heard since their fall presentation.
Maita said that she hoped to take an active role in the major’s development.
“I’m looking forward to working with an incredibly passionate group of faculty members and students in drawing up proposals for the major, and I am excited to see how a greater wealth of courses can further enhance the dialogue, thesis projects and relationships in the JUPS community,” Maita said.
McClure expressed enthusiasm about an increased JUPS presence on campus.
“Given Georgetown's emphasis on Jesuit ideas and values, I am very hopeful that students will respond positively to the development,” McClure said. “The major puts Georgetown in a unique position to be able to attract even more students who have a passion for creating peace and working for justice.”