The COR of the university

Taryn Zard, Staff Writer


Since everyone is required to take a first-year seminar course, whether you took COR100 or UNI101 is irrelevant.  The question to consider is: How much do these requirements and individual classes differ? 

Let’s start with what the requirement was prior to this year. Current sophomore Jalyn Boado had Irina Gendelman Ph.D. as a professor for her UNI 101 course. The theme of the class was sustainability. They read three books: “Choices for Sustainability,” “1984,” and “Parable of the Sower,” as well as Pope Francis’ speech “Laudato Si.” The class was primarily discussion-based, with the addition of two essays and one presentation at the end of the semester. They also had field trips and did some type of service every week. 

Jalyn summarizes, “This class was incredibly easy, and I learned a lot from it. I actually wrote a 10-page paper later on the Quixote Village [one of the field trip locations] in my English 102 class. Now I have a fellowship with an environmental organization. So, yeah Uni was really good for me.”

Hunter Kiphart is another sophomore this year. Last year, he took UNI 101 with Jeff Birkenstein Ph.D. and David Price Ph.D. There were two books that the class had to read: “1984” and “1968.” The books were both based on past events and had scary predictions for what the future will hold. The class focused primarily on key social issues at the time of the books that are relevant in today’s world. In addition to the two books previously mentioned, the class was also required to read a few articles and write four papers based on said readings, as well as their changing perspectives on college and the surrounding world around us. Additionally, like the other first-year seminar classes, there was a mandatory service project that they had to do. Short clips and movies were watched based off the weekly topic.

Irene Hauzinger Ph.D. taught UNI 101 based on wellness and social work. Student Cesar Sandoval took this class last year, and said it was mostly discussion-based with a fair amount of reflections. 

When asked about service hours, Sandoval responded, “My class was more laid back about service hours, I think we needed seven to 10. I know other classes were more strict, and there were a couple of my friends who didn’t need to have any.” 

The final paper for the class was 1,500 to 2,000 words, and they had one or two 500 word  three-page papers. For the most part, the class was focused around the seven concepts of wellness, with a different one every week and a half. The seven aspects to wellness were: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, environmental, and occupational.

There will always be some discrepancies between classes based off what your theme is, who your professor is, and even if there were days when the class did not meet. This year’s incoming freshmen got to select one of 13 offered COR100 classes. Each course has its own “theme” and are geared more toward specific majors. Jolene Hirata has a similar structure to Jalyn Boado; this is likely due to Professor Gendelman’s teaching style and the overarching theme of sustainability. Section J1 is co-taught by Heather Grob Ph.D. and Irina Gendelman Ph.D., with peer mentor Megan Gano. This class theme is “Building a Just and Sustainable World.” The books required are volumes 1-3 of “MARCH,” “Seeing Systems,” and “Nickeled and Dimed.” For each chapter/session in the books there are 250-word reflections assigned. There will also be a 5-minute oral presentation, a 1,000-word midterm paper, and a 2,000-word final paper. The focus is to educate students in both practical and personal skills on how we can make long-term, positive changes—in our lives and community, and our overall role on the planet.

Janie Sacco Ph.D. is the professor for COR100 N1. The theme for this class is “Introduction to Critical Theory Through Black Representation in Media.” The class is primarily discussion-based, accompanied by lots of reading. The required reading is the first three “MARCH” novels and “We Should All Be Feminists,” with the option of reading “Is Everyone Really Equal? An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice.” 

According to student Cheyenne Yap, this class covers “interesting topics, with a few papers due in-between.” 

For papers, there are four 500-word film analyses, one critical response, and a 1,750-word response to a social issue from a given prompt, with the addition of a midterm and a final. The goal of COR100 N1 is to create an understanding of black identity, with an overview to analyze social justice issues.

I chose the COR100 K1 “Nurses in Literature and Media” with Teri Woo Ph.D. This class peaked my interest because I am a nursing student and thought the books that related more towards my professions sounded like they would be interesting. Our books are: “MARCH,” “MASH,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoos’ Nest,” and “Shift. We are not writing a paper for the “Shift” as we will be working on our five-minute oral presentation on stress management. The other books, however, require a draft and a final 12 page paper.  

Each COR class is required to read “MARCH” volume 1, which was provided by the university during summer orientation. Additionally, each first-year seminar, both COR and UNI, is asked to complete and log around seven to 10 hours of community service. Some professors are stricter on the time than others. Even with the slight discrepancy in length of service, there is a consensus that 10 hours of service is the most you will need. Although each COR section is geared differently, one would expect the workload—number and length of essays—would be the same. However, there seems to be a fair amount of discrepancies in the course requirements and expectations by the professors.  

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