German major cancelled

Students will no longer be able to major in German beginning in September. The decision follows a reconfiguration of the department of languages, literatures and cultures.

The cancellation of the major option was passed at the Arts and Science Faculty Board on Friday. Students will still be able to earn a medial or minor in German.

Acting Head of the department Donato Santeramo said the goal isn’t to cut courses but to offer different ones. “It was not a financial cut, it was a purely cultural one,” Santeramo said. “The instructors in German and the curriculum committee believed we could service students better.”

Santeramo said German was targeted because of limited enrolment. Only three students are currently majoring in the program and they will be allowed to complete their degrees.

The languages, literatures and cultures program was formed in 2011, one year after the introduction of a world language studies minor option. While German has seen a declining interest, Santeramo said he hopes the introduction of a Mohawk course will interest students.

“We are on Mohawk/Algonquin territory,” he said, adding that discussions about adding the course were done in conjunction with Four Directions Aboriginal Centre.

“I expect it to be very popular because it’s going to be a combination of both language and culture.” Between 30 and 35 students will be able to enrol in the full-year one-level course.

“Language is something you can’t teach to numerous people [at once,]” Santeramo said.

Association Acting Head of the department of languages, literatures and cultures Jill Scott said adding this course is a logical step forward.

“If we’re going to put reconciliation on the page, we have to do more than pay lip service to have indigenous ways of knowing showing up in the curriculum,” Scott said.

Although courses are being restructured, Scott said no faculty members will lose their jobs as a result.

“Things come and go,” she said. “I would imagine that there will be continual change in these units and these departments.”

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