“At Fairfield, we believe that how you learn is just as important as what you learn.” I found this quote on the Fairfield University website. It is essentially what a liberal arts education is all about. It is why I personally love having a liberal arts education. The classes I take outside of my majors still relate to how I am learning and make me a more well-rounded student overall. I was never really one to complain about the Magis core, as I went undecided for my entire first year. The Magis core helped me explore what I wanted to study because it gave me a variety of introductory classes that allowed me to hone in on what I wanted to major in.
Not only is Fairfield known for its liberal arts education, but it is also known for its top Business and Nursing programs. The Dolan School of Business is the largest school on campus, with 2,181 undergraduate students. The Egan School of Nursing and Health Sciences has 703 undergraduate students. The two most popular programs at the schools are Finance and Nursing, respectively. With a strong population of students in both of these schools, it would make sense that some people raise the question of whether the other programs at the school feel underrepresented.
I reached out to professors in Egan, but they did not share their opinions on the matter. I also reached out to some of my professors who teach subjects in the humanities for their opinion on the subject.
Professor Emily Orlando of the English Department told me that she believes that “there is a discrepancy between the College of Arts and Sciences buildings and those that house those two professional schools. Both the Business school and the Egan school have newer, more modern, very beautiful buildings compared to the buildings of the [CAS].” Professor Orlando said that she remembers the days when Donnarumma used to have torn carpets and outdated classroom furniture throughout the building. Now, there have been some modifications in the building, such as new carpets, smart TVs, upgraded restrooms and modern classroom chairs. However, it does not compare to the new Dolan School of Business or Egan buildings. She finds that “these discrepancies can lead prospective students away from studying the humanities.”
I agree with her statement on the buildings. I find that the buildings can show who is more strongly favored within the University. It would be nice to see CAS get a new modern and beautiful building like Nursing and Business. It would show that the University really does treat all the schools equally. I also wanted to see what students had to say about this. Sophomore Communication major Olivia Scott does not feel overshadowed by the Nursing school since “nurses are going to be saving people’s lives one day.” I did not get any comments about feeling overshadowed by the Business school.
Personally, I think that the Business and Nursing schools are not affecting my education in any way. The professors within CAS are incredible. I can only speak from personal experience, but I find it so easy to connect with them better because they are so passionate about what they teach. I have learned so much from my professors. I am an English and History student, and both departments are great. You can really tell just how much the professors love what they do and are so excited to share it with their students. If anything, I feel that they are definitely underappreciated by students who are not in CAS. I find that students outside of CAS completely overlook these professors and their work. They view their classes as just mandatory classes to graduate with, so they do not appreciate the work their professors have put into the subject they are teaching. I have noticed this in a lot of my classes.
I am also in the process of searching for an internship. I want to start off by saying that the CAS Career Center is incredible. They have been so much help to me this entire year in starting my career-finding journey. I went to the career fair a few weeks ago in hopes of finding something to apply for. However, I found that so many of the companies there were looking for majors other than those in the humanities. I think I only found two companies to talk to out of the large number that was there. Where is the recognition for those in the humanities or the arts? As someone who personally is not interested in any field business related, it is really hard to find an internship for someone pursuing an English and History degree. I felt really underrepresented at the career fair.
Do I sometimes feel underrepresented at Fairfield because of the strong population of Business and Nursing students? Sometimes. However, it is not really affecting my education in any way. As I said before, I think the professors within CAS are incredible. I do not regret choosing to study the humanities at all. Internship and job opportunity-wise, I can feel a tad overshadowed. However, nothing is really affecting my education which is most important. I do believe, however, that those working in CAS deserve more appreciation than what they receive.
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