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Proposal allows fourth years to design course

Fourth-year students may soon be able to design their own course by attending lectures and performances for class credit, according to a proposal now being discussed by the Fourth-Year Class Trustees.

Only in the proposal stage, some trustees said they envision a four-credit course created individually by students and consisting of one professor-led discussion per week. Attendance at two approved weekly lectures or performances would be required.

Each week students would submit a journal entry regarding the performances attended along with a final paper at the end of the semester. The course would go toward fulfilling the second writing requirement.

Although the logistics of the proposal have not been completely worked out, trustees agree that the idea is promising.

"It builds on the intellectual community and allows students to experience things in a classroom setting that they normally would not experience," Fourth-Year Class President Rhodes Ritenour said.

Offering this class would also give students an incentive to attend programs around Grounds, Trustees said.

"I think that it is a great idea because a lot of people are dissuaded from going to those [programs] because of other classes, so it gives them a reason to go," Trustee Lauren Moore said.

The new classes are expected to interest a large number of students who are looking for a reason to attend the University programs, trustees said.

"Things that were once an option would now be an obligation," Moore said.

Melissa Huhn, Trustee and author of the proposal, said the plan has to be approved by the other Trustees and by University President John T. Casteen III.

In addition to putting together the Fourth Year 401 proposal, the Fourth-Year Class Trustees have decided on this year's class gift.

Twenty percent of donations will be placed in the Elizabeth Coggins Scholarship Fund and 80 percent will go to organizations of their choice.

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