University News

Today in University History: April 5

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, April 5, 2012


U. faculty raises course minimum to 30

In 1988, faculty voted to raise the number of undergraduate courses needed for graduation from 28 to 30. This was the biggest curricular change since the introduction of the New Curriculum in 1969. 

Though the initial proposal called for 32 courses, Dean of the College Sheila Blumstein said she felt “terrific” after hearing the results. Faculty members also approved an increase of minimum transfer courses from 14 to 15.

But Blumstein’s two other proposed changes – a senior project requirement and a “concentration self-evaluation” – were rejected by faculty vote. James Patterson, professor of history, said he voted against the motion because projects would create an unnecessary burden on individual departments.

Due to Residential Life error, lottery numbers reassigned 

In 1995, the Office of Residential Life discovered a technical mistake in their housing lottery number assignments that required them to randomly assign the second batch of numbers again. ResLife found that 20 housing groups were given the wrong numbers, causing mass confusion among students and ResLife administrators.

Director of Residential Life Arthur Gallagher said they usually ran a secondary program in order to discover any potential errors, but none were found, allowing the false numbers to be distributed. All rooms assigned during Segment II were reassigned and allow to be rechosen in an early morning lottery.

University implements online ticket system for lectures

In 2006, the Office of Public Affairs and University Relations decided to implement an online ticketing system in order to avoid long waits in line to purchase tickets for  prominent speakers on campus such as Bill Clinton in 2005. Working with Computing and Information Services, the public affairs office sought different ways to make ticket distribution more efficient, eventually settling on a reservation system online.

Administrators said they had not heard any negative feedback or opposition. But some students were disappointed with the change in protocol. Ray Serrano ’07 said he felt he was being deprived of a “great bonding experience.”

Former Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at U. on traditional values

In 2007, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum spoke to a packed Salomon 101 about the dangers “Islamic fascism” posed to America and its ideals. In his lecture, titled “The Dawn of an American Renaissance,” he argued that the U.S. conflicts in the Middle East represented the next era of tension between the Judeo-Christian West – ideals that Santorum said are “superior to all other cultures” – and the Islamic East.

“I do not believe that all cultures need to be or should be respected equally,” Santorum said. During the question-and-answer portion, he received many challenges from the student audience. Several audience members questioned his idea that conflict between the West and the Muslim world is necessary.

“By our mere existence, we offend them,” he responded.


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