New University honors program requirements too demanding
As an incoming first-year student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, I was not thrilled about the extra requirements but I was willing to deal with it. Two one-credit courses by the end of sophomore year and 12 honors credits by the end of senior year wasn't asking that much, after all. This new language requirement will add about 14 more credits to the program, assuming I would have to take two four-credit and two three-credit language courses for Spanish. If a student cannot find a spot in an honors section for a course that counts toward their degree, the honors requirements can really put a strain on course selection. The honors students are supposed to be the brightest students and in my experience, generally the most ambitious at the University. Many honors students are aiming for a double major, possibly with a minor, or a science major, both of which are credit-intensive plans that can be hampered by these extra required classes. Also, part of the college experience is being able to explore interests through courses not found in high school. Requiring four more classes will limit this greatly, especially if students have no strong interest in learning a foreign language. I understand that speaking another language is a beneficial skill, but it is a decision that should be made by the student, not the faculty. The one positive of this situation is that this decision was not made last year. If I had to deal with the added language requirements, I would have passed on the honors program altogether. Ironically, incoming honors first-year students should consider how this will restrict their degree plans, if it will at all, and consider skipping the honors program in order to have more academic freedom.
Patrick Grubel is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student.