The Academic Senate has postponed any changes to the General Education requirements, at least for the time being.
The Academic Senate decided Dec. 5 to cancel its planned vote on a controversial plan for UCSB’s G.E.s and voted unanimously to rescind the proposal due to insufficient faculty and student input in the proposal.
The decision comes after numerous faculty and students complained to the Academic Senate about the changes outlined in the proposal. The Hate Incident Coalition, a group of students concerned with the number of hate incidents on campus organized a petition and encouraged students to write e-mails and call faculty members in protest. The group felt two of the proposed changes, the elimination of the non-Western culture requirement and the alteration of the ethnicity requirement, would increase the likeliness of hate incidents occurring on campus in the future.
Other proposed changes were the elimination of one science, math and technology requirement and four writing requirements. These changes were widely opposed by faculty.
“The general feeling was that the campus needed more consultation before we could vote on this and more discussion was needed,” Academic Senate Chair Walter Yuen said. “By canceling this [vote] it would allow more input and time to come up with a better proposal.”
The Undergraduate Council, under the leadership of Undergraduate Council Chair and sociology Professor Denise Segura, will draft the new proposal this year.
“[The Undergraduate Council] wants to consult broadly on this new proposal to come up with something that is acceptable to at least the majority of the people interested,” Yuen said. “Everyone will have a chance to voice their opinion.”
The committee that will draft the new proposal is to include three yet-to-be-chosen student representatives who will not be allowed to vote on the final proposal, but will contribute ideas and give the perspective of the students, Associated Students President Chrystine Lawson said. Students interested in one of the positions should call or visit the A.S. office next to the MultiCultural Center.
Yet three students could not effectively represent all the diverse opinions of the nearly 17,000 UCSB undergraduates, Lawson said, and encouraged students to communicate with members of the Academic Senate concerning their opinions about changes that might be made to the G.E. requirements.
“I’d call out to students to continue voicing their opinions on this subject in e-mails to the Academic Senate and through the forums which A.S. plans to hold,” Lawson said.
Lawson said she sees the rescinding of the proposal as a good sign that students got their voices heard and that the Academic Senate does care what students think about G.E. requirements.
“I’m very excited about [the decision],” Lawson said. “I’m glad [the Academic Senate] is willing to put in the time to come up with a better proposal. Because it does take a significant amount of time to do this.”