story Yonatan Gazit
President Pericles Lewis held a Town Hall with students on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 5, to talk about Yale-NUS College’s plans moving forward and to answer questions from students.
He spent a majority of the talk on the Self Study Committee. Chaired by Dean of Faculty Charles Bailyn, the committee will spend the next four to six months preparing a comprehensive review of the Common Curriculum, Mr. Lewis said. A Visiting Committee, consisting of faculty from Yale and NUS, will review the report and provide outside feedback. The college will then implement changes to the Common Curriculum for Academic Year 2016/2017, affecting primarily the classes of 2019 and 2020.
Mr. Lewis highlighted three levels of student input throughout the process. The first involves sending all students a survey about the Common Curriculum. The second, creating a student committee to help advise the Self Study Committee during their review. The third and final level will include focus groups involving students, which will target specific aspects of the curriculum.
Such interest in student involvement is appreciated by those like Cheryl Nazik Cosslett ’18. “I’m very optimistic about [the Common Curriculum review] and now it is really up to the students whether we want to use that chance to give input or not, because I really feel that the opportunities are here,” she said.
During the Town Hall, Mr. Lewis also informed the audience that by the summer of 2015, the Residential College buildings for Saga and Elm will be finished. Cendana’s building will be completed before the start of Academic Year 2015/2016.
Mr. Lewis spent the second half of the meeting responding to students’ questions. These varied from commentary on the Common Curriculum to concerns over balancing respect and free speech within a community, issues with facilities at the new campus, and Yale-NUS elective options. At 9 pm, an hour after the meeting started, Mr. Lewis called the Town Hall to a close.