Letter to the editor



Michael Joy

As a member of the Academic Senate, I participated in the discussion at last week’s meeting about the proposal to end the requirement that most students at NMU need to complete a minor in order to graduate. (Despite last week’s North Wind headline, this was not a proposal to “eliminate minors.”)

The proposal–despite my eloquent rhetoric in opposition–passed. Thus, the requirement that students complete a 20-credit minor will, in most cases, no longer apply. I don’t think this change will help us compete with other schools. I do think it will reduce somewhat the number of students who earn a minor, and that’s a shame.

My late mother was “only” a Spanish minor, but she used her Spanish during her early professional life as an educator, as well as around the house with her children. What she learned in college enriched all of our lives and made us more curious about the wider world. Her example inspired me to take Spanish classes in college, and that is why I am teaching Spanish at NMU today.

So don’t tell me that a minor can’t make a difference in the life of a student–I know from personal experience that it can. I urge you, my reader, to consider broadening your intellectual horizons by picking up a minor. Of course, you may enjoy the courses so much that your minor turns into a second major. This pleasant transformation happens frequently to our language students.

To conclude: minors are very much alive and kicking, and they stand ready to enhance your academic experience at NMU.

Michael Joy, Professor of Spanish