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New writing major boosts creativity

Lauren Creiman
LV Life Editor

The University of La Verne will provide another creative outlet for its students with the addition of creative writing to its official list of available majors for fall 2011.

ULV currently offers creative writing as a minor and offers the courses necessary to major in creative writing, but it was not until last week that the creation of the major was voted on and approved.

“The classes are already in place, but it seemed like a good idea to formalize the major,” Sean Bernard, associate professor of writing, said.

In order for this to happen, a proposal outlining the major had to be approved by a variety of committees.

Jonathan Reed, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said that for a major to be formally created, it must go through the Curriculum Committee, the Undergraduate Academic Policies Committee, the Faculty Senate and Faculty Assembly.

“These committees evaluate the major and ask questions such as if the pedagogy is corrector if there is student interest,” Reed said.

“It’s been an intensive process, trying to get this created, but it’s well worth it,” Bernard said.

Although students at ULV can currently major in creative writing, they must have the major designed for them under the Create Your Own plan.

In a letter of support included in the proposal, Dean of Student Affairs Loretta Rahmani said that she supported formalizing the major because it could result in an increase of students.

Associate Professor of Writing Cathy Irwin worked with Bernard during this process and said she supported it because she feels creative writing is an important means of self-expression.

“Here at La Verne we respect creativity and encourage self-expression, and now we have a major that shows that respect,” Irwin said.

In her letter of support for the major, Associate Vice President of Academic Support and Retention Adeline Cardenas-Clague echoed this sentiment.

“The creative writing major will offer yet one more opportunity for students who are searching for a major,” Cardenas-Clague said.

“This will give them the opportunity to direct their creative expression while fulfilling graduation requirements, and possibly acquiring a degree in the end.”

Bernard said the new major will provide students with a balance of reading and writing classes, since the creative writing minor offers only writing classes.

“With this major we want to nurture ULV students’ love, not only for writing, but also for literature,” Irwin said.

“This major will let our students be more expressive through writing and allow them to immerse themselves into expressive literature.”

The creative writing major consists of a total of 44 units, including a senior project, six core courses and four elective courses taken from a provided list.

“The major is a little more intensive, especially the senior project, but it will better prepare students for creative writing if they choose to pursue graduate school,” Bernard said.

Sophomore psychology major and creative writing minor Venice Torres was excited to hear about the new major and is now considering a double major.

“It seems people today don’t take writers very seriously, and only see it as a hobby,” Torres said.

“Maybe now it will be seen as a talent that can be honed through study and practice.”

Lauren Creiman can be reached at lauren.creiman@laverne.edu.

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