New curriculum needs more support from faculty

By Kelsey Kastrava
April 20, 2010

“Justice Matters,” the new curriculum built into all Cabrini students’ academic schedules, has had mixed responses from those experiencing social justice in and out of the classroom.

This curriculum states that all students are required to take nine credits of an Engagements With the Common Good course. These courses range from concentrations on diversity and democracy to dating and domestic violence.

The Loquitur staff feels that the ECG courses can be a positive force in every student’s education. Any class that teaches social justice on any level is positive.

However, we have found that certain students on campus are not enthusiastic about their ECG classes. Some ECG classes do not dive into social justice issues nearly as much as others. We wish that students would actually become engaged in the common good, as the course title promises.

Certain students have been able to learn alongside prison inmates exploring the meaning of social justice. Others have worked alongside Mexican migrant workers in their struggle to have fair wages or with refugees from around the globe.

Some students have even worked in solidarity with the Mayan people of Guatemala. These are the types of engagements with the common good that all students should be having.

However, these students, who have seen the world beyond the gated community of Cabrini College, only make up a tiny percentage of the student population.

Why is it that the majority of students do not talk about having powerful experiences like these?

We do not mean to take away from what other ECG courses have been teaching, but the idea of the Justice Matters curriculum, in our opinion, is to get students to look beyond everything they’ve ever known.

The realization of what goes on in the rest of the world is something that not only promotes education, but also promotes change.

The Loquitur editors feel that all instructors should be passionate about social justice and ignite the same fire in their students.  We understand that some instructors may not be as familiar with social justice issues and what the real definition of social justice is. We get it. It is a complex topic but one that is worth becoming familiar with.

Certain students may argue that they are completely changed persons because Cabrini has “opened their eyes.” Others would also argue that social justice might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Well, neither is math. But that doesn’t change the fact that each student deserves the same experience in the coursework.

The new curriculum is what sets us apart from many other colleges and universities. Some Cabrini students can say they see the world differently because of their experiences in learning about social justice issues. But every Cabrini student should be able to practice what the school preaches.

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Kelsey Kastrava

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