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Hours change for minors

David Mullner said a recent change to course requirements could have negatively affected his law school applications.
“They changed the requirements for minors and majors over summer,” the senior political science major said. “So there were several students like myself who had in fact talked to faculty [last year] about adding a minor, and nobody told us [the requirements] would change.”
Mullner said he was upset about this because, in his opinion, it violated the student handbook, which promises a fair warning to any course requirement changes.
Mullner said he didn’t think June 2008 was a fair enough warning for a change for this school year.
Several students joined Mullner in complaining to the Department of Foreign Language Chair, Leslie Sconduto, and the Foreign Language Department has decided to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
All students enrolled in a Spanish, French or German class received an e-mail Wednesday night from Sconduto saying that some students would be able to add a foreign language minor under the old requirements. The department will decide Oct. 8 which graduating classes will be required to follow the new curriculum.
Student Senate Academic Affairs chairwoman Jade Peters also spoke with the department on the issue.
Students must have a good plea as to why they didn’t choose to add the minor before this semester, she said.
“I think the only reason why seniors are a little bit bigger of a deal is that they only have one or two semesters to pick up a minor,” Peters said. “Even at the junior level, you still have three semesters to pick up a minor.”
Under old requirements, students with a foreign language minor must complete 18 hours at the 200-level or higher, Mullner said.
New requirements call for students to take 24 hours at the 300-level or higher, according to the department Web site.
Students going to graduate school would have seen the worst effects of this change, Peters said.
“They’re really looking at your majors and minors there,” she said.
Peters said she doesn’t think the change violated the student handbook’s fair-warning clause, but the university could have handled it in a better way.
“I think they should have proposed it at a beginning of a semester, so students would have had time to find out,” she said.
To declare a major or a minor, students must contact their department chairs.