It’s time to talk about becoming responsibly engaged.

At Concordia College, the theme of the core curriculum declares we are “becoming responsibly engaged in the world,” however, in the case of interdisciplinary studies and respect of people of different disciplines, we fall short.

Cobbers, think about how many times you have heard someone in music knock the people in science, someone in sports knock someone in the music world, or any other example. It feels to me that our differences are not always respected.

Group from Concordia College at NCUR 2015

Group from Concordia College at NCUR 2015

A few weekends ago, I travelled to Spokane, WA for the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Of the group that went from Concordia, there were three religion majors, one philosophy major, one math major, one exercise science major, and a couple of chemistry and biology majors. Even though sometimes I did not understand the technical terms that the other was talking about, I had a huge respect for what they did and accomplished to get to NCUR.

The conference celebrated the great research of all in different areas of study. Now, we do have Celebration of Student Scholarship on campus where we do celebrate the interdisciplinary nature of our college, but in my experience, not at the level that NCUR did.

We celebrate our liberal arts degree only to turn around and be judgmental towards what someone else choose to study. We refuse to understand the hard work that goes into each and every major. We refuse to be open to learning what other disciplines can offer our own discipline.

Becoming responsibly engaged in the world means that we respect people of other disciplines. Maybe the best way to gain respect for others is to have more opportunity for truly interdisciplinary projects–ones where a person from each major works together on an issue and shows how it fits into their realm of study.

It is time to begin conversations about how respecting disciplines and having an appreciative knowledge of them is a great way to become responsibly engaged in the world.

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