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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

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University classrooms open to beliefs, controversial subjects

College can be a time of exposure to new beliefs, but not everyone agrees on who should expose students to those beliefs.

“I think [professors] should actually talk about more than they do,” said sophomore Sarah Ghose.

She said while restrictions on what can be discussed might be appropriate in high schools, there isn’t such a need for restrictions in college.

Sophomore Rob Muniak had a similar opinion on the difference between appropriate discussions during high school or college classes.

“I feel like in college it’s fine to share personal beliefs. College professors should be allowed to say more than high school [teachers].”

Muniak said by the time of college, students should be strong enough in their own beliefs that they are not too influenced by what professors tell them.

“In my philosophy classes I wish they would discuss more religion,” Ghose said.

Ghose is a philosophy and psychology major. She said much of philosophy has a basis in religion, but that often isn’t talked about much because religion can be “a touchy subject.”

Julie Barnes, executive associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said classes on the Bible as literature can be uncomfortable for some students.

“If you’re a very devout person and you take that class, you may disagree with viewing the Bible as literature,” Barnes said.

However, there are other controversial topics that might cause tension between people during class.

Muniak said, “touchy topics like abortion” should generally be avoided, although what he finds appropriate depends on the situation.

Classroom discussions can be an issue when they are not relevant to the class, Barnes said.

“In general, students register for a class to learn a certain body of knowledge,” Barnes said. “Faculty is obligated to deliver that content.”

Senior Dillon Steiger felt that when he took a human development and family studies class, the instructor focused too much on talking about why that was a good major.

“[He was] almost recruiting us to that major,” Steiger said.

It’s not always a bad thing if unexpected information is given.

Ghose said that in her sociology of aging class, saving for retirement was discussed. She said she hadn’t expected to learn about that, but was glad to have the knowledge.

Steiger said that professors’ personal beliefs should be kept to themselves, unless sharing them ties into the lesson.

They shouldn’t share “random, deep personal stuff. Then it might get kind of awkward,” Steiger said.

Ghose said she doesn’t mind when professors share personal beliefs or opinions. She said that when they do, and they get passionate about what they are saying, she thinks, “wow, you’re a real person.”

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