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Don’t forget about the little guys
You’d think after studying abroad in France adding French as another minor would be pretty easy. I had already taken two courses here at Quinnipiac and fulfilled many of the other requirements while taking classes in France.
Once I returned all I needed was one more 300-level class to complete the minor. Since there is only one 300-level French class and it is only in the fall, I knew I would need to take an independent study if I wanted to complete everything this semester.
I was actually told I couldn’t take an independent study until another French student asked for the class as well. I was also told I couldn’t take the 300 level class in the fall if enough people didn’t sign up. So apparently it wasn’t so easy to add a French minor after studying abroad.
I had my schedule all mapped out, without any French classes, but as soon as I did I got an email that there would in fact be a French independent study. The events that happened after that email changed my outlook on how things worked here at QU.
As I emailed back and forth between the language department to find out if I could fit the newly instated independent study into my schedule, the add/drop period for classes had come and gone. So when I finally realized the French independent study couldn’t fit into my schedule, it was too late for me to take it out on my own.
While I could have taken the initiative to email the language department sooner, the associate dean of fine arts emailed me back in what was not only an offensive tone, but made it seem like it was all my fault. Although this could have been resolved a lot easier at the beginning of the semester, this situation could have been prevented.
This just made me realize that the smaller majors and minors probably don’t have as much leeway in what classes they can or cannot take. I was told I might not be able to complete the minor if I had officially declared it because there weren’t enough students or classes in the program.
Now I know that it isn’t the university’s fault that not a lot of students sign up for certain programs. But they should be ready in case there are students who make it far enough into their program that they need certain classes in order to graduate. The university should want students to add minors, not make it difficult for them.
Based on my experience, the best thing for students to do is keep pushing, emailing or calling in order to get what you need. Since smaller programs may not have as many faculty as other programs, it may be hard to create a class or independent study.
It might seem a little scary at first because the “no” or angry response may be hard to take in. So take it from me, do not be afraid of those emails or calls, do not be afraid to ask for help from professors, and do not be afraid to ask for something that might not seem possible at the time.
Students have the power to choose their classes here and that shouldn’t change just because not enough people signed up for a certain class. In the end, it’s your education and you should do what you want with it.