Letter to the editor: Honors symposium should be lauded, not criticized

I think the adage, don’t judge a book – or in this case a symposium – by its cover, is especially apt in light of the recent article and Skiff View published in regard to the Contemporary Reading Symposium.

As a student who graduated from the Honors Program last spring with both university and departmental honors, I am a bit jealous of this year’s Contemporary Reading Symposium participants but not for the reason you might expect.

I do not view reading and analyzing contemporary texts like Tom Stoppard’s “Rock’N’Roll,” a play that discusses academic themes like the communist regime in Prague and Marxist philosophy in Cambridge, England, as a cop out for second-year students looking to complete lower-division honors requirements.

In fact, reading and analyzing the nuances, subtleties and complex themes of “Arcadia,” with Linda Hughes in my Intellectual Traditions class proved to be one of the most challenging and stimulating intellectual experiences I had as a lower-division honors student at TCU.

I envy this year’s Contemporary Reading Symposium participants, because all honors students regardless of classification will have the opportunity to interact with Hughes and other top TCU professors in setting that resembles first year seminar classes.

Offering students the opportunity to participate in the Contemporary Reading Symposium for an in-house non-university lower-division honors credit, is not devaluing the prestige of my degree or sacrificing the academic integrity of a program I am proud to say I was a part of.

It is merely a new way the Honors Program can continue its mission of stimulating and encouraging academic activity at the highest level. The program’s creativity and commitment to continuing to help its students should be applauded rather than criticized. I hope to see the Honors Program develop even more unique learning opportunities for honors students in the future.

Tiffany Wang is a communication studies graduate student from Arlington.