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The Statesman

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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

Newsletter

    Take DEC L! Ask Your Advisor Today

    Many of you all already know, course registration is just around the corner. Students have already received their enrollment appointments, and are actively contemplating what courses they should pursue for the Spring 2007 semester.’ While it is important that students choose the right courses for the completion of their respective degrees, I feel that many students place too much importance on raw academics.

    Academic learning, for the vast majority of courses on campus, requires attending lectures, doing homework, or reading books. Most of the classroom-based learning is straightforward material that any student in middle school or high school can memorize and regurgitate on an exam. Students attending a university should aspire to expand their horizons beyond textbooks and lecture notes.

    A prime example of this lack of student activity beyond the classroom setting can be seen right here at The Statesman office.’ We are a paper that is run largely by pre-medical students.’ However, with the recent opening of the School of Journalism, the increased number of students taking Journalism classes along with those students who have already declared themselves Journalism majors, you might expect a distinct rise in student interest and the number of contributions to the paper as compared to past semesters.’ This is not the case.

    Rather than seizing the opportunity to gain some real world skills in reporting, writing, and editing, it appears that Journalism students just don’t seem to want the experience. For all practical purposes, a student applying for a position for a newspaper or magazine needs more than just straight A’s.’ I understand that the Journalism department, with its 127 credits required for graduation, does place a heavy burden on students, but I do believe that we would be a much stronger paper if we receive more support from the student body.

    It is important to note that the skills one can gain as a writer for The Statesman are transferable to nearly any discipline, any major on campus. Science and engineering majors may one day apply for grants from the government to fund various projects.’ Business majors who apply for graduate school would definitely benefit from experience in management. Media arts and photography majors could add to their repertoire of skills by editing photographs and contributing to our layout. Furthermore, the interpersonal skills students can gain from interviewing and meeting faculty, staff, and other students across campus will not go unrecognized in an actual interview for graduate or professional school.

    Again, the ability to communicate effectively is a skill that is necessary for success in any work environment.’ Those who can present themselves and their ideas, have a clear advantage that cannot be obtained from simply reading books.

    I have always believed that a college essay should be mandatory for all students applying to SBU.’ The requirement of an essay would immediately set our campus apart from other SUNY schools and truly catapult our standings among other highly reputable universities across the nation.’

    However, until that happens, it seems that some type of continued writing exposure should be recommended for students. This type of writing would be specific to journalism writing, not the type of writing already mandated in WRT classes. This new DEC L, ‘writing for the Statesman,’ would give students of all majors the opportunity to contribute directly to the campus community and gain the intangible skills needed for a promising career in a field of their choice.

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