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Friday, April 19, 2024

Experimental College: Try new things

In December 2013, representatives from the Experimental College (EC) went to ASUCD  in a state of crisis. The EC has been losing money every year for the past eight years, and by winter 2013, their reserves had been completely depleted. Thus, ASUCD had no choice but to shut it down.

Now, the EC is working with ASUCD in order to fix the problems that led to its downfall. In the Jan. 16 senate meeting, a bill passed creating a task force composed of EC representatives and two ASUCD senators. The goal of this task force will be to fix the marketing and accessibility issues that are widely believed to be at the heart of the problem, along with helping the EC get onto more stable footing for the future.

We are very hopeful about the EC’s return, which may be as early as spring 2014. However, we have some suggestions.

First and foremost: live up to your name. Classes like jujitsu and line dancing may be cool, but they are far from “experimental.” The EC needs to make drastic changes to its curriculum in order to survive. We want to see more classes about subjects that we can’t take in school or that our parents never thought to teach us. How about offering some of these:

How to Train Your Dragon, Cat or Other Mythical Creature. Extreme Couponing. Bartending. Legalese: Know Your Rights. DIY: From Clothes to Crafts. Zombie Apocalypse and Other Survival Situations. And what we hope would be the most popular class: How to Bike.

Second, avoid offering classes that we can take elsewhere. The ARC offers a wide variety of martial arts and dance classes, our campus offers classes in many languages and we can learn yoga from YouTube videos if we really want. Ultimately, having those classes is exhausting the apparently rather limited resources that the EC has to offer.

Finally, make sure your new marketing campaign targets its audience. We understand that the suspension stopped the ball just as it was about to get rolling, but this is the perfect opportunity to make sure it was rolling in the right direction. Make T-shirts that say, “College is a time to experiment.” Expand your web presence. Do a demonstration day on the Quad where students can showcase what they have learned.

We fully support the comeback of the EC and we hope it comes back strong. However, we want to caution that if it resumes business as usual when it returns, we foresee the same problems cropping up in the future.



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