In recent months, students have learned that the Sanskrit program offered by the Department of Religion and Classics may become a victim of yet another assault on our educational possibilities by being put on the chopping block. Of course, the fact that almost 600 students signed petitions to support the reappointment of our very popular Sanskrit professor, Jonathan Geen, will probably be ignored by those in the administration who seek to eradicate such unimportant courses. “Unimportant” in this case can be translated as “Not funded by the US government, Pharmaceutical companies, or any other institution funding medical/scientific research and development”.

That Sanskrit scholars in the few years since the program began have gone on to graduate work at Harvard Divinity School and the University of Chicago, for example, means nothing. That Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages, in one of the oldest and largest religious traditions in the world, means nothing. That there is a significant South Asian student component here, and perhaps levelling the study of their own history and cultural foundations is an insult, means nothing. That the Department of Religion and Classics boasts a disproportionately large amount of majors and minors, as well as having an exceptional representation in the field, means nothing either.

Taking a swipe at a thriving department, and using the bottom line as justification for destroying educational opportunities for many students, should not be an acceptable practice…even though it is common practice. And yet, it seems quite likely that the administration will yet again disappoint students to save a few dollars that will no doubt be tossed over to the medical center or some other research facility.

To aMELIORAte things, the administration should pay attention to students before students both in the school and outside the school begin to notice that UR’s commitment to education is dissolving into a myth.



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Is it bad? Definitely not! But I found myself continually checking my phone to see how many tracks were left.

Live updates: Wallis Hall sit-ins

Editor’s Note (5/4/24): This article is no longer being updated. For our most up to date coverage, look for articles…

Gaza solidarity encampment: Live updates

The Campus Times is live tracking the Gaza solidarity encampment on Wilson Quad and the administrative response to it. Read our updates here.