It’s really no surprise that SF State has made the decision to introduce an environmental sustainability course into the general education requirements, especially since the city consistently supports sustainable practices like mandatory composting and the plastic bag ban.
For a campus that boasts academic excellence and was called “a college with a conscience” by the Princeton Review, the inclusion of a sustainability course was only natural.
In the past few years, it has become more and more apparent that there is a need for educational tools that provide a foundation for eco-literacy for students of all ages.
The environmental sustainability requirement does just that and will inform them how to make good decisions in the future.
This new requirement will expose students to issues that they may not have covered in other classes and will also teach students ways in which they can have a positive, sustainable impact on society.
Academics at SF State stress that when students graduate from this campus, they graduate as well-rounded, well-informed individual. Additionally, the knowledge they will gain through a green class is essential in that regard.
Those who oppose the new requirement claim that it is only adding on to the already-substantial load students bear each semester when trying to fulfill various requirements for their majors, minors and general education. They argue that student’s schedules are already over-flowing and between working and being a full-time student there’s no room left for additional classes or requirements.
However, the Academic Senate has already stated that this additional three-unit course could be double counted to satisfy another requirement.
Also, the new sustainability requirement will not go into effect until fall 2012 and will only affect incoming undergraduates.
This means current SF State students don’t have to worry about having to squeeze in another G.E. before graduation.
It’s not as if the Academic Senate and President Robert A. Corrigan did not take into consideration the demands of our current curriculum when they approved the change this past fall.
By allowing students to take a sustainability course that will also count toward another general education requirement, the concerns that come with changing the curriculum are addressed.
When it comes down to it, the new environmental sustainablility requirement will just improve the relevance of the existing G.E. requirements and make them more applicable to the green advances that many fields have made.