Cornerstone 7 in high demand this May Term

by Sheyenne Manning/Staff Writer

As juniors and seniors sign up for May Term and fall classes, they are finding difficulty in scheduling a Cornerstone 7 – global awareness – course without studying abroad.

The cornerstone is designed to introduce students to other countries and cultures.

Students can achieve this cornerstone by travelling abroad for a semester or during May Term or they can complete a semester course on campus for a grade. The courses offered on campus, however, are currently limited and many students don’t have the option of domestic or overseas travels for financial reasons.

“Right now only Western European Politics is being offered this fall as a (Cornerstone) 7,” John Bolen, registrar and assistant academic dean, said. “Every student must have a Cornerstone 7; therefore, it is quite simply the case that more sections have to be offered in order to accommodate the demand.”

Junior Erin Cracker has witnessed the difficulty in fulfilling the requirement.

“I know that there are a lot of people that have been having trouble finding Cornerstone 7 because they are a senior and they haven’t taken the class earlier,” Cracker said.

With the demand for additional on-campus Cornerstone 7 courses, an additional course in Political Science will be added to the curriculum.By offering the Cornerstone 7 classes during the regular semester, students have more course options without having to complete the requirement in May Term.

For the upcoming May Term, Bolen has made another class available for seniors in need of a Cornerstone 7 course–World Music with Virginia Croskery, assistant professor of music.

Bolen worked with Croskery in advance about the possibility of adding her class in case it was needed.

“Because no matter how hard we try to predict how many students will register for certain classes in May, we cannot be 100 percent accurate, so we line up a course or two to have ready to add as soon as we need them,” Bolen said.

“The whole point is to help students, and at the same time stay within budget.”

With the economy in rough shape, it has become more necessary to provide classes on campus for students who are unable or unwilling to pay for a class abroad, according to Bolen.

Cracker said she would enjoy the experience of traveling abroad, but she would probably have to take out another loan in order to pay for it. For most students “it just probably depends on their financial situation,” Cracker said. “They want to prioritize their money and their experiences.”

Bolen believes this cornerstone is an important experience to fulfill because it gives “our students some opportunity to learn about another culture, to learn about other way of looking at the world and of being in the world,” he said.