“I’m not too worried,” Petition organizer comments on general education revision efforts

UVU student Madeline Brenchley, who helped organize a petition to keep Ethics and Values a part of the general education curriculum, speaks on what students should know about the planned revisions, the most likely outcomes, and what students should take away from her petition and education as a whole.

Student organizers work to gather signatures in order to prevent the loss of Ethics and Values course in the general education curriculum. Graphic by Kristan Whitney

The student organizer who began a petition to stop a revision to general education requirements that would remove Ethics and Values from the curriculum, in an interview with the UVU Review, implied that she was not too worried that the class would be entirely removed.

As mentioned in a past piece, UVU is currently reviewing their general education curriculum. A committee called the General Education Task Force is currently reviewing ideas and proposals that would have the potential of removing certain classes from the curriculum in an attempt to suit the needs of students. One of those courses is Ethics and Values.

Madeline Brenchley, senior at UVU, began a petition in order to prevent this action. She recently sat down with the UVU Review to talk about her efforts in trying to keep the requirement, as well as working to get signatures on her petition.

“Ethics and Values is a valuable course not only for philosophy majors, but for every single student,” Brenchley stated. “The course is … an avenue for exploring different world views, and for … being able to communicate about and understand the logic behind belief systems.”

Brenchley spoke about the impact that the petition has had on members of the task force. She said that members had seen the petition, along with other feedback that they had gotten, and had realized how impactful their decision might be.

“They’ve been able to see just how influential any decision they make will be, and that was very comforting to me,” Brenchley reassured. “I learned that the committee is really taking into account student needs and … what students value. I guess I am not too worried based on what [Jaden Muir] was saying, even what changes they are considering. I think they still are going to try to preserve a lot of the core of Ethics and Values is. We will still have to see if that happens, but I am hopeful.”

According to Brenchley, there are three major avenues that the task force could go when it comes to the G.E. revisions. The first is the courses are dropped, the second are that they are kept, and finally they are kept, but changed. Brenchley considers this last option to be the most likely.

“The extent to which it’s changed is something that’s still very hazy and provisional,” Brenchley elaborated. “I think that is the most likely option.”

As the interview concluded, Brenchley expressed why this was so important beyond just the course itself, but why students should apply themselves in their education.

“Education is more than an avenue to a career. Higher education is the chance to develop life long skills in critical thinking, and being an actual responsible upstanding adult,” Brenchley stated. “It’s so much more than … get in and get out as quick as you possibly can, and I guess that’s what I want people to take away from this. Rather than fighting back against G.E. requirements and just trying to get out of school as fast as you can, look at education as a gift.”

For more information on the current plans for G.E. revisions, visit their website.

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