(December 13, 2001, Gazette)

Arts to introduce European Studies program
It’s a trip

St John’s Church, now the Art and Recreation Centre, opposite the campus.

Where better to go to study Europe than Europe? With this thought in mind, the Faculty of Arts will soon introduce a minor program in European Studies that will take full advantage of Memorial’s “gateway” to Europe, Harlow Campus.

The program will kick off in the winter semester 2002 with the course European Studies 2000: Europe in the 20th Century. Then in fall 2002 there will be a semester-long stay at Harlow in England, where students will do 15 credits worth of courses in 20th-century European political science and history at the 3000 and 4000 levels. The Harlow semester will feature trips to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, various museums and historical sites, and a weekly program of European film and literature.

“As a university we haven’t really made enough of the fact that Harlow is in the U.K., which is part of Europe – we need to broaden our outlook and take advantage of this fact,” said Karen Cracknell, director of the Harlow campus. “With the introduction of the European Studies minor we are doing exactly that, acknowledging that we have a European campus and taking advantage of its location.”

Although European studies will be a minor offered by the Faculty of Arts, Dr. James Black, interim dean of arts, believes it has a lot to offer students in other faculties and schools wishing to make their degree unique. “We’re hoping that the broad appeal of the program will convince students to take part in the courses offered at Harlow,” he noted, adding that for business or science students the courses could be used as electives, or they could be bundled with other courses in the program to get the minor, a possibility allowed for under the B.Comm., BBA and B.Sc. programs.

“It’s very much a multi-disciplinary program, with required courses from political science, history, the modern language departments, and elective courses from English, folklore, geography, philosophy and sociology/anthropology,” Dr. Black explained. Study at a European location is also a requirement. He said that study in future Harlow semesters in programs such as those offered by business, theatre, science and other arts disciplines, as well as study at other European universities, would also be eligible for European studies credit, “as long is there is a connection with modern Europe.”

The introduction of the program is part of a broader effort to intensify use of Harlow. A central part of this effort is ambitious physical renovations to Harlow’s infrastructure.

The renovations aim to improve Harlow’s teaching facilities and living quarters. “The renovations will provide ensuite showers/toilets for each bedroom. The whole site will be cabled and networked to ensure good computer provision and connectivity to the Internet. All bedrooms will have voice/data connection, enabling each student to have use of a phone and the ability to use their own laptops if they so desire. There will be a large resource room housing the library, study cubicles, computers and a photocopier, and the current library will be refitted as teaching/conference space,” Ms. Cracknell summarized.

Dr. Black pointed out that, with this additional teaching space, there will be two full classrooms, thus opening the possibility to run two separate, simultaneous academic programs per semester at Harlow.

Overall, the renovations will make Harlow a more flexible learning space. “These changes will ensure that the accommodation meets the needs of today’s student, but will also be acceptable to business people who will be the targeted clients for the non-academic time,” Ms. Cracknell said.

Dr. Black said the renovations are scheduled to be completed in August 2002.