• Joanna Kreke

Remove Old White Men from Curriculum

Mount St. Mary’s University has cemented itself as an important and great institution. In 1988, our school was praised for its curriculum and it became a model for universities and colleges across the nation. However, that was nearly 40 years ago. There are many people who believe that our core curriculum needs to be updated.


Why does our school demand so much out of us? Why are there so many core classes that they ask us to take? Why do they make us take history classes about western history? Why are we not allowed to choose the history courses we want to take? Why do we need to take two Theology courses, two Philosophy courses and still have to take an Ethics course? Why is the first Philosophy course called “Introduction to Philosophy” when it is really an “Introduction to Catholic/Christian Philosophy”?


The Catholic identity is vital to our school’s entire existence. However, this is a bit much even for a Catholic institution. Personally, I believe that it resembles a core curriculum of a Catholic high school. We, as students who pay to go to school here, should be allowed to pick the types of courses we want to take. These courses are not even free. Students have to pay hundreds of dollars to take these courses and buy these customized books that are only sold at the school’s bookstore, on top of other books professors adopt for their classes. Some students might not want to learn about Plato and Aristotle again. They might want to learn about the different philosophies of Asia or Africa or anything that is not about old white men.


“Old white men” is how I would personally describe the majority of the curriculum. Origins of the West is old white men. Western Imagination is old white men. Intro to Philosophy is old white men. The Theology courses are both about old men who are not white but are often depicted as such.


This is not a battle cry for the curriculum to keep every single thing the same and just haphazardly implant a couple old white women into it. This is a student bringing to light the inherent racism and sexism in an outdated curriculum that is overworking students in subjects they did not want to take.


In the rising tide of exposing racism and sexism in institutions, it is time to update the curriculum. It is time to demand better from our school.