Essential NU needs review (Editorial)

Yet again the Essential NU diversity requirement underwent a makeover and yet again student interest remained flat.

Designed to educate incoming freshmen on the merits of embracing diversity, events that meet the diversity requirement have seen inconsistent attendance levels despite giving students a choice as to how they wish to fulfill the requirement.

Worthwhile events now are full of students who don’t want to be there, wasting what could be an eye-opening experience learning issues they might never consider otherwise.

Other solutions exist. The Highest Order of Excellence II, a report of university-wide academic proposals, proposed the idea of providing a common book for all incoming freshmen to read during the summer, to be followed by a lecture from the book’s author. This proposal could accomplish two of administrators’ elusive goals: bringing campus together as one community and exposing that community to the benefits of diversity. This proposal can help to achieve what Essential NU has failed to for many students, but Northwestern shouldn’t turn its back on the events that currently fill the docket.

NU needs to give the events currently under the Essential NU umbrella greater publicity. Compelling speakers often visit our campus, yet many students have no clue. If Plan-it Purple, NU’s student events calendar, tells us more about the speakers coming to campus and less about kickboxing classes we’ll all be better off.

Diversity and community go hand in hand. The annual alterations to the diversity requirement have not worked, and it’s time again to consider more changes. The failure of the past years’ experiments should not cause NU to give up, but find an effective long-term solution.