Editor, Daily Nexus,
Recent opinion articles in the Nexus have convinced me that UCSB’s general education requirements need to change. Though I’d be happy to see the non-Western culture requirement go, that’s not what I’m talking about. The change that I propose is aimed at preventing the repetition of material. It is unacceptable that some professors and TAs need to throw out material from their own disciplines to provide rudimentary grammatical lessons. Such interruptions compromise the quality of affected classes. The unfortunate part is that these interruptions would be terribly simple to prevent. It is obvious that all classes that require written papers assume that students can already convey written ideas effectively, and our prerequisite system should reflect that. If all the classes that currently fulfill the writing requirement had “Writing 69: Effective Written Communication and Stuff” or an equivalent test as a prerequisite, our teachers could be certain that their students met some standard of writing performance. With that sort of guarantee, professors could concentrate on the material in their syllabi.
Secondly, the four (or six) writing course requirements should be removed entirely. Placing this in addition to the Subject A requirement is ridiculous. It would seem that the administration believes that either the Subject A classes are ineffective or that writing skills are so easy to forget that they need to be reviewed four to six times before one can graduate. Further, there is an implication that the classes fulfilling the writing requirement are partly responsible for teaching basic writing skills, which is exactly what I want to prevent. If that is what you want as well, please put some pressure on the administration to improve the system.