Senate drills for more minors

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By Brad Whitehouse
Associate News Editor

Students could take minors in fashion and news, pending a decision made Tuesday night at the Ryerson Senate meeting.

At press time, a decision hadn’t been made whether courses in fashion and journalism would be opened up to more students, as laid out in the Senate agenda.

But it’s not a free for all. Retail management will be the only program where students can take fashion classes.

In journalism, programs will be available to students in at least three different faculties.

Ivor Shapiro, undergraduate program director at the school of journalism, said that students in the faculty of communication and design would be able to take the minor in news courses.

The school of journalism has also opened the minor up to the Ted Rogers school, which hasn’t decided whether it’s on board.

“They’re not an alternative to journalism,” said Shapiro.

“They’re seen as helping people studying in other programs to understand the news media, to understand journalism as a profession, but not to prepare them to be practicing journalists.”

“We have specifically excluded courses which by their academic nature are only suitable for students in our program.”

Programs like fashion and journalism are competitive to enter. For every student accepted, about seven are turned away. And some majors aren’t sure that students minoring in their program would understand how intense the program can be.

“We work so hard to get through these courses. To have someone say ‘Ugh it’s just my minor’ — I don’t think they would get the full understanding of how much work it is,” said Marsha Robb, a second-year fashion communication student.

Robert Ott, chair of the fashion school, said the program is demanding and that students taking fashion courses should be able to have a comparable skill set and an interest in fashion.

“This isn’t knitting 101,” he said.

In the past, retail management was included in the fashion curriculum. Ott is excited to work with retail management students for the school’s year-end fashion show.

“They bring a skill set to Mass Exodus that we don’t currently cover, so we can do marvelous things.”

Both faculties consist of smaller labs and studio classes, but the schools of journalism and fashion said class size would be affected.

“We have to be fairly cautious initially,” Ott said.

“We will work with a modest number of amount in the next couple of years.”

Shapiro said they won’t be piling more students into journalism classes, but making more sections instead.

Photo: Allyssia Alleyne

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