Butler Cultural Requirements: “Eight before you graduate”

ALEXANDRA BODE
STAFF REPORTER

Typing ‘www.butler.edu/core’ into your search bar will lead you to the main website for the Butler University Core Curriculum.
Then, if you look further, you will see a list of the core requirements.
If you click on Butler Cultural Requirements, two bullet points will appear which state the learning objectives for what Butler students call BCRs.
According to the core curriculum website, the main goals for BCRs are to educate students about the many learning opportunities at Butler that will take place outside of the classroom and to develop students’ habits of participating in culture events.
“Once (students) leave the university, it will be (them) choosing to go to a symphony, an art show at the IMA or a lecture,” said Mary Ramsbottom, associate provost and senior core administrator.
Ramsbottom said BCRs will not only help instill these desires in students, but they are also meant to help students discover something meaningful and engaging that they might not have thought of before.
The Faculty Senate passed the Butler Cultural Requirement, as well as the current Core Curriculum, in 2005.
The entering class of Fall 2010 was the first class on Butler’s campus to have these requirements, Ramsbottom said. However, Jordan College of the Arts had requirements like these for some time prior.
Because the BCR is part of the Core Curriculum, it is no different then any other graduation requirement.
This means students, as of the entering class of 2010, will not be allowed to graduate if these requirements are not completed.
Despite some rumors, there is nothing that can waive these requirements, Ramsbottom said.
“Part of me thinks they are a good thing, because without these requirements less people would attend these events. But the other part of me thinks this requirement makes these events almost like a burden to students,” freshman Kalié Sorenson said.
For students looking where to find information about BCRs, the Butler website contains a list of approved programs.
Many classes are required to go to BCRs, including classes in JCA and English classes.
“I am an English major so I need to go to Visiting Writers series for some classes,” sophomore Natalie Verhines said. “It’s not like they are really hard to do, so I do not think they are a bad thing overall. I get why they are there.”
There are certain campus events that are automatically given a BCR stamp, like the Butler Lecture Series events, Ramsbottom said.
If faculty or student groups would like to hold an event that counts for BCR credit, they need to fill out a proposal form, and the faculty committee will decide if it meets the criteria.
This criteria can be found on the BCR page of the Butler website.
“Education is supposed to be about the whole person, and that is what the Butler Culture Requirement sets out to do,” Ramsbottom said.

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