Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Current events curriculum is crucial

Quinn McGuinness

Whether it’s collecting as many AP credit hours as possible or adding a class to an overflowing summer workload, UT students generally want to fulfill all their flags as soon as possible. However, we often spend more time complaining about their mandatory nature and not enough time pondering what this curriculum adds to our education.

While the current flags span a variety of important fields, one pivotal subject is not covered by any of the six core areas: current events. While many history and government classes may briefly cover current events, no core-mandated class truly explores global news, conflicts and developments. To provide students with a genuine understanding of the world, the faculty council should make current events a mandatory flag. 

There are many advantages to incorporating current events into the core curriculum. Current events are a primary method through which many students stay updated on worldwide events. Between challenging classes, full schedules and part-time jobs, most students don’t have the time for consistent patterns of behavior outside of existing commitments. 

“I don’t feel like I’m up to date on everything, especially after I got here, which is interesting considering this is a higher-rated college, you’d think that you’d gain a better understanding of current events,” freshman Ann Vadakkan said. “It’s just been so incredibly busy to where I have barely like the time to sleep.”

Most students do not want to use brief periods of respite to watch the news and, as a result, fall behind.

In our globalized world, it is increasingly important to both know and truly understand what is going on around us. Every sector of our economy is interdependent across the globe. We cannot enter society as contributing adults without a basic understanding of and answer to the question: what’s going on and how does it affect us? 

However, adding a flag is a complicated process. 

“It’s a tall order,” said Jeanette Herman, assistant vice provost in the Office of Curriculum Management and Innovation for the School of Undergraduate Studies. “The faculty council that oversees undergraduate studies would have to vote and have legislation that says that a new flag would be a part of the undergraduate degree requirements. Then, we would have to work with colleges to implement the requirement.” 

At a time when conflict halfway across the world could spike gas prices at home or a treaty signed yesterday could close a company tomorrow, UT students must be proactive participants in the world rather than passive spectators.

By adding current events education to the core flags, UT could make its students more informed, engaged and cognizant members of society and better prepare them for future careers. We must allow our students to not only understand the world but also directly impact it. 

Reddy is a mechanical engineering and Plan II sophomore from Houston, Texas.


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