USF students oppose proposal to remove sociology as general education requirement

A regulation prohibiting funding for social issues and diversity initiatives on public Florida college and university campuses was also approved at the Nov. 9 Board of Governors meeting. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/FLORIDA CHANNEL

Senior psychology major Delaney Slyker said the required Principles of Sociology class helped her discover she was interested in the field and helped her decide to minor in sociology. 

The Florida Board of Governors (BOG) advanced a rule on Nov. 9 based on Senate Bill 266, which would remove Principles of Sociology as a general education core requirement.

“Not making sociology a requirement anymore will give people less understanding of our world,” Slyker said. “I think sociology really helps with understanding society as a whole and current events on a deeper level.”

The required social science course options at USF are Introductory Survey Since 1877, Introduction to Anthropology, Macroeconomics, American Government, Introduction to Psychology and Principles of Sociology.

The regulation would replace Principles of Sociology as a social science required course with Introductory Survey to 1877. Under the proposal, other sociology courses would still be offered, but not counted toward general education requirements.

Principles of Sociology introduces students to the discipline of sociology by analyzing sociological theories, core concepts and issues through various media and assignments, according to the USF Course Inventory.

Slyker said if the regulation is approved, fewer students will be willing to learn sociology.

The rule is expected to come before the board for final approval in January. The public can comment on the regulation through the board’s website.

Chair of Department of Sociology Sara Green said the university faculty and the Faculty Senate are preparing statements to submit to BOG’s official website.  

Green said the statements need to be carefully and thoughtfully prepared in order to help the BOG make its final decision in January, according to Green.

Director of Media Relations Althea Johnson said in a statement that USF continues to monitor the progress of the regulation proposed by the BOG. 

If the regulation gets approved, USF will work with its partners across the State University System and the BOG to analyze how the university will be impacted, according to Johnson.

 Senior sociology major Teriana Fowler said the proposed regulation is a shame because it would hinder human connection and community building. Every student should be required to take sociology, according to Fowler.

“Even if students take just the required class, they gain awareness of themselves and others, which can create important conversations and societal change,” Fowler said.

Fowler said she is interested in going into medicine, but the required sociology class showed her how helpful sociology could be in her career. Students pursuing medicine should have sociology classes because it’s a career where they work with the greater society, according to Fowler. 

“If you don’t have even an ounce of empathy for anybody who might not look or be like you, then you’re going to be hindering the healthcare system,” Fowler said. 

Senior political science major Kiyah Hall said her sociology minor has helped her better understand her major. She said it is easier to understand topics from a sociological standpoint than a political one.

“I wish I had chosen sociology as my major because the sociology minor gave me a broader sense and deeper understanding of the world,” Hall said.

Hall said she is learning about the same topics in her major and minor, but the sociology minor helps her learn about them more in-depth. She said some of the most frequently discussed subjects in her classes are Karl Marx’s work, theories of inequality, politics and people’s rights.

Hall said that no other class can contextualize problems and decisions like sociology does. Having classes geared toward sociology for specific majors would give people an opportunity to learn about how the world works and how it affects people, according to Hall.

“I feel betrayed because the government is trying to take away education from students and we’re not even being told about it,” Hall said.