The Academic Senate, in cooperation with department heads, faculty and administrators, has approved the name change of two majors and the graduation requirements of another.
Latin American Studies will combine with Caribbean Studies to form one comprehensive major. The Foreign Language Department will become The Department of Languages, Literature and Culture. Finally, the digital media management major, as part of the Communication and Media department, will be separated and state registered and an internship will be required to graduate.
“The two areas under media have been functioning as separate concentrations. Both areas have been updated,” said Patricia Sullivan, communication and media professor. “They need to be registered at the state level as separate majors in order to be listed and advertised as such. Without the change both areas are identified simply as media. Potential students need to be aware that both areas of study under media are available.”
Adding an internship requirement to the program would increase the chances of employment post graduation, said student Sen. Alberto Aquino.
Aquino said he supported this measure and he thinks it’s something “other departments should look into as well.”
The idea of a name change for the Foreign Language Department had been considered for a while to better incorporate and address certain topics professors teach in the classroom.
“I think the name change to the Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures is long overdue,” said Peter Brown, a professor in the Foreign Language Department. “We began proposing this years ago. Most of what I teach is in the area of literature, culture, film, interdisciplinary civilization studies and intellectual history. I’m very pleased that we now have a name that far more accurately describes what we actually do.”
Aquino also said the term “foreign” was off-putting and no longer relevant. He said since we live in a time of globalization, it’s not “appropriate” anymore. He took the example of Spanish and said that even though it’s not the official language of the United States, it is still found on both city and federal papers.
Consolidation of Latin American Studies and Caribbean Studies is aimed at drawing a larger crowd, particularly those of Caribbean descent. According to Aquino, a lot of students with Caribbean backgrounds were feeling excluded because the title didn’t include them.
“I was interested in that because I’m Dominican,” Aquino said. “I didn’t feel excluded, but I wasn’t in the title.”