What it means for students who have had their program put on hold

In July of 2021, KSC announced that several majors and minors would be put on administrative hold going into the Fall 2021 semester.

The majors put on hold were American studies, geography, physics, and women and gender studies (Women and gender studies is still available as a minor). The minors put on hold were information studies and art history.

Emily Hill, a senior majoring in English and minoring in information studies, spoke to the Equinox about what the administrative hold meant for her and others who had their program cut.

“If you already had it, then you’re allowed to finish it,” Hill said of her information studies minor. “So I can finish it with what the school is still offering for classes.”

Even though students already enrolled are able to finish their majors and minors, there are fewer courses available for students due to the programs being cut.

“My options were limited. I’m taking participatory cultures… and I’m taking an archives class to finish the minor, but I would have wanted to take other classes I think,” Hill said when asked if the changes had affected how she planned her classes this semester. Although Hill only needs a few more credits to complete her minor, she admitted that the limited amount of available classes might make sophomores consider dropping the minor.

“I’m sure that underclassmen, like sophomores, would benefit from dropping it because of how difficult it will be to finish it without the classes being taught,” Said Hill.

Although she was understanding of the reality of budget constraints for KSC, Hill was disheartened by the school’s decision to remove certain programs that she felt existed for the best interest of the students.

“I think of the programs that got cut, like information studies, and women and gender studies, I think that they’re very important majors, especially because I don’t think a lot of people know about how to have information literacy, and how it kind of crosses over a lot of different fields, and kind of how essential it is for navigating the media and information that you are reading online. I think it’s important if you’re creating content of your own, its a lot of different things that would be good to know if you had taken at least a few information studies classes or just any basic information classes,” Hill said. “So yeah I feel like those two majors, well the minor and the major, I wish that they weren’t cut because I think a lot of people are missing out on not being able to take those.”

Despite current students in the affected majors and minors still being able to finish their program, the transition has been a difficult one. Hill wished that the school had been more open about the decision to cut the programs so she could’ve been more prepared for the change.

“I really liked Irene McGarrity, she was an incredible person to learn from and she taught in the information studies minor…As students, we also weren’t really told about this, and I wish that I had been able to say goodbye.”

Angela Poirier, the academic contact for geography and physics, declined to comment.

Elizabeth Dolinger, a professor for the information studies minor, did not respond to requests for an interview.

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