Students debate need for core

KATIE GOODRICH | Asst. News Editor

The Butler University debate team argued about whether to abolish or modify the Butler University Core Curriculum Tuesday night.

The debate showcased the students and gave an interesting topic for people to think about, said Casey Kelly, director of the debate team.

“Students have strong opinions on the core,” Kelly said. “We thought that it would be something that students are interested in because they hear a lot of opinions.”

Before the debate, Kelly clarified that the students were arguing for the assigned sides, not necessarily their own beliefs.

Each team had two periods of six minutes to state their case, each of which was followed by two minutes of questioning. Finally, each team gave a final rebuttal.

Phillip Tock and Maggie Jensen argued to completely abolish the core.

Jensen said the core is hard to schedule, lacks focus and creates an assembly line of students.

“We are repeating our learning,” Jensen said. “Core classes have the difficultly of remedial high school classes which patronizes students. They are fluff classes that give you the guise of a real course.”

Tock said the worst examples of the core are Speaking and Writing Across the Curriculum, due to their difficulty to schedule and lack of options.

He also said the Indianapolis Community Requirement was not actually benefitting the community because forced volunteering is a hindrance.

Alexandra Pierce and Funmi Argobokun argued to modify the core.

Pierce said the core was not difficult to schedule if students talk and plan with their advisors. She suggested advisors be more informed about the core, so students know more.

“The core provides structure,” Pierce said. “If we abolish the core completely, there will be chaos.”

Argobokun said Writing Across the Curriculum and Speaking Across the Curriculum help prepare students for life by being tailored to each major.

“Employers are looking for global employees,” Argobokun said. “The core makes students well-rounded. Students will be better in their own field if they learn about other fields.”

She said ICR fosters civic mindedness, guarantees community involvement and helps students break out of the Butler bubble.

“We can’t abolish what makes our education a liberal arts education if we want to call ourselves a liberal arts university,” Argobokun said.

After a discussion, the audience voted the team arguing to modify the core curriculum as the winners.