Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 01:01
Along with the beginning of the new semester came the much-anticipated opening of the impressive Stokes Hall, the new home to the A&S Honors, history, English, classical studies, philosophy, and theology departments, as well as the Office of First Year Experience and the Academic Advising Center. The Heights welcomes this beautiful addition to our campus for all the aesthetic pleasure it provides, and for the fundraising opportunities it presents: donors may contribute significant amounts in order to have a floor, a classroom, the Honors library, the lawn, the commons, or the function room named in their honor.
The administration has touted Stokes Hall as a celebration of the humanities and Boston College’s stake in a liberal arts education. While The Heights praises their pride in BC’s tradition and defining dedication to the liberal arts, we question the timing and extravagance of the gesture. The entire project cost $78 million and was completed just when job prospects for students majoring in the humanities are among the bleakest they have ever been. We are not, in any sense, suggesting that BC abandon the devotion to the liberal arts that has shaped and distinguished it for 150 years. We do, however, believe that the $78 million may have been better spent had a portion of it been devoted to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. As it is, any significant investment in the sciences has been delayed until more funds have been accumulated, which may be several years down the line.
BC prides itself on graduating students prepared to change the world. The world needs people well-educated in all disciplines, but, because of the current economy, fewer graduates with degrees in the humanities are being hired. If BC neglects the subjects that are currently employing the most graduates, are they truly able to accomplish their goal? To what extent can graduates who can’t get a job effect significant change?
With Stokes open and St. Mary’s undergoing construction, we urge the administration to now focus its attention on math and science. The Heights believes that BC’s next step is to show that it can maintain tradition while also embracing the changing world.