Stony Brook University's New Creative Writing Major Is A Huge Victory For The Humanities

Stony Brook University's New Creative Writing Major Is A Huge Victory For The Humanities

We're all starting to realize that STEM isn't everything.

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At the end of my last poetry class for the semester, my professor pulled me aside to talk to me about my writing. During this conversation, he mentioned that there would be a creative writing major available in the 2019 spring semester at Stony Brook! This news not only shocked me, but it left a smile on my face throughout the entire day. Why? Because this, in my eyes, is a big success for the humanities.

For those who don't know, Stony Brook University is predominately STEM majors. The top three majors at Stony Brook consist of health-related programs, biological and biomedical studies, and engineering. To be quite honest, as an ex-STEM major, Stony Brook's science program is what drew me to the university in the first place.

However, as I began taking more English and writing courses (which led to the inevitable switch of my major), I realized how amazing their humanities department was, as well. Stony Brook contains a handful of amazing writers and notable professors who contribute to the humanities department. It's their passion that fuels the enthusiasm of non-STEM majors, who sometimes feel discouraged while they pursue their major.

Unfortunately, many college students still believe that pursuing any degree that isn't STEM-focused isn't realistic or that it's "easy" or they won't get a well-paying job in the future.

Luckily, with the new creative writing major that's available next semester, it'll show people that the humanities department is still thriving and flourishing with bright students. Students will now be able to develop bigger writing portfolios, take on more writing classes, and network with other writers. The new major will also create more valuable connections between students and staff, developing more opportunities to work with professors on papers and projects.

As an English major who is now contemplating double majoring with the new creative writing major, I appreciate how my university is expanding their major selection in the humanities. It's nice seeing attention being given to shadowed majors. And who knows, this could potentially open more doors for Stony Brook. Bringing a new humanities major to Stony Brook is a huge victory for the arts and the university, so let's celebrate that!

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"
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Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: BinsAndLabels

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No, A Colored Student Did Not 'Steal Your Spot,' They Worked Hard To Get Here

I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

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Real talk, this whole "they're stealing our resources!" thing has to stop.

It ranges from welfare to acceptance letters into prestigious universities. People (and by people, I'm referring to those who identify as white) have made the assumption that they are having their opportunities stolen by people of color. That's ridiculous.

I love my university. I love the people at my university. However, when I sit in a classroom and look around at my colleagues, the majority of them are white. Of course, there are some classes that are filled with more people of color, but for the most part, they're predominantly white. So, let's say that out of a classroom of 30 students, only 7 identify as people of color.

In what world can somebody make the argument that those 7 students are stealing the spot of a white student? I don't think people realize how hard those 7 students had to work just to be in the same spot as their white counterparts.

Let me use my experience: I am a Latina woman who is attending university on a full-ride scholarship. I don't always tell people about this, because I don't feel like being asked, "wow, what did you do to get that?!" A lot. I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

First off, those "illegal immigrants" you're bashing, don't even qualify for financial aid. They don't qualify for most scholarships, actually. Second, have you considered that maybe, that "illegal immigrant" worked hard in and outside of school to earn their scholarship? I received my full-ride scholarship on the basis of my GPA, but also because I am a lower-class woman of color and was selected because I am disproportionately affected by poverty and access to a quality education.

So, this scholarship was literally created because there is an understanding that minorities don't have the same access to education as our white counterparts. It's not a handout though, I had to work hard to get the money that I have now. When white students get scholarships, it's not a handout but when you're Latina like me, apparently it is.

This way of viewing minorities and their education is damaging, and further discourages these people from receiving a quality education. We didn't steal anybody's spot, we had to work to get where we are, twice as hard as our white colleagues that are not discriminated against on a daily basis.

Instead of tearing down students of color because you didn't get a scholarship, why not criticize the American education system instead? It's not our fault tuition is $40k a year, and we have no reason to apologize for existing in a space that is predominantly white.

To students of color: you worked hard to get where you are, and I am proud of you. To white students: I'm proud of you too. We all worked hard to get to where we are now, let's lift each other up, not put each other down.

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