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Required program hours for members of C3 program increased

Maddi O’Neill

Editor-in-Chief

In an effort to make the Cross-Cultural Connections (C3) program a more serious enterprise, the program’s coordinators have decided to roughly double the number of required program hours per year.

Participants in the C3 program live in Babcock Hall and are required to fulfill a set of requirements as part of their housing agreement. The program is part of the Center for Diversity and Global Engagement (CDGE), and aims to get students “outside the Wooster bubble and thinking about the world,” according to Executive Team member Wendy Kuzmishin ’16.

A CDGE pamphlet describes the C3 program as one in which “students plan, execute and attend events that explore issues of social justice, identity, diversity and global engagement.”

Until this year, participants in the C3 program were required to complete at least 25 hours per year of C3 programs or related activities.

For the 2014-15 academic year, the Executive Team — made up of Elizabeth Hart ’15, Heather Skinner ’16 and Kuzmishin — decided to increase the hour requirement to 25 per semester. These hours include community service, multicultural events (such as J’ouvert), community events within the residence hall and C3-approved workshops. The Executive Team’s role is to help decide these requirements and to “design workshops that are facilitated through C3,” said Skinner.

“We decided to double it because if it was 25 hours for the year that’s not even an hour a week,” said Kuzmishin. “[The C3 Program] is supposed to be a living and learning community.”

Director of The CDGE and English Professor Nancy Grace is also serving this year as a Program Coordinator for the C3 program after some sudden staff turnover left the program without administrative coordinators last year.

Said Grace of the new hours requirement: “The hours required last year were barely minimal in terms of indicating that you’re making a commitment to this kind of education outside the classroom.”

Students who applied to live in C3 housing last year applied with the understanding that only 25 hours per year would be required. “No one has come to us to say that they’ve had an issue with it,” said Kuzmishin. Students who cannot complete the new requirements this year will not be removed from the program; they will have the option to make up hours during second semester as well.

“[C3] is still a newer program so we’re always trying to update it and make it better,” said Hart. “There are a lot of people who still think [Babcock] is just an international dorm when it’s never been that way. Even tour guides say that [on tours].”

Other minor alterations to the program will join the change in the hours requirement. Community builders, or hall events held in Babcock, are a new addition to the hours requirement. Executive Team members will also be offered .5 credits as opposed to .25, which has been the norm in years past.

Grace also plans to reconsider the community service requirement because “it’s not clear how that outreach fits the goals of the Center.”

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