UR prides itself on its lenient curriculum, which according to the Web site has “freedom.” While students at UR may have more freedom in their academic choices than those at many other universities, most students are forced to take the primary writing requirement, otherwise known as CAS 105 or as CAS 105L for students whose writing requires more attention. Although there are many types of CAS classes to choose from, each class functions on an elementary level. I can only accurately comment on my own class, however. Thus far, the class discussions and the leadership of the graduate student is more like my ninth grade English class than a college-level course. Outside readings and class discussions have consisted of how to write an essay and, more specifically, what exactly goes into the introductory and conclusive paragraphs. Having taken two classes in the English department, I feel confident that I know how to construct a well-developed essay. The Web site states that AP test scores of four or five, or petitions that demonstrate that the student is an “already proficient college writer, as opposed to [an] outstanding high school writer,” may exempt a student from the requirement. No test score, however, is certain to excuse a student from the class. The university should be more lenient in its exemptions, as many students who are proficient writers and bored in their CAS classes are simply wasting approximately four-thousand dollars. A student who takes a class in the English department during his or her first semester should be exempt from the requirement, as the English department class is probably more demanding than the typical CAS class. Or, if simply taking an English department class does not exempt a student from CAS, maybe his or her professor can write a letter of recommendation, excusing him or her from it. Perhaps to further allow students to take an additional class of their choice, the university can provide entry level testing during freshman orientation. If a student’s essay is above a certain level, then the university can exempt the student from the requirement, allowing him or her to take an additional class related to his or her major, or, perhaps simply a class of interest that he or she would otherwise not have the time to take. As a school that advertises itself as having “no required subjects,” – according to the Web site – its enforcement of the Preliminary Writing Requirement is hypocritical. Students should be more easily exempted from the class – either through testing or writing samples – to streamline the students who would benefit from the course from those who are simply taking up a seat and wasting money. Katz can be reached at jkatz@campustimes.org.

5 students banned from campus for Gaza solidarity encampment

UR has been banning community members from campus since November for on-campus protests, but the first bans for current students were issued this weekend.

Israel Week promotes nationalism within our Jewish life on campus

The purpose and effect of hosting an “Israel Week” is to distract from and distort the historical and contemporary realities of Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Dinner for Peace was an unconventional way of protesting for Palestine

The dinner showcased aspects of Palestinian culture. It was a unique way of protesting against the genocide, against the Israeli occupation, against the university’s involvement with the genocide.