SPOOF: Southern will offer Hip Hop Studies program
Aaron Berkowitz – News Reporter
SCSU looks to enter uncharted territory in the upcoming fall semester of 2015 as the university’s music department will now off offer a Hip Hop Studies program where students can obtain a bachelor of arts degree in Hip Hop. President Papazian approved the proposal of the program being implemented on March 25. Papazian a formal announcement will be made at the Spring performance by Dean Breeze and the university’s surprise guest performer.
“I think the students will be more than surprised with who we booked this year for a performer and on behalf of the university I want to say that we are ecstatic to be able to expand our Music Department,” said Papazian.
Dean of Arts & Sciences, Steven Breese, said he was surprised the idea for the program wasn’t approved earlier but he is just excited to see where it goes in its pilot semester.
“The important thing is that it did get approved,” said Breese. “I think I can speak for most of the staff here at Southern when I say that our main priority is to help put students in a position to succeed. By us offering this program we are able to cater to a wider demographic of students.”
Breese said the university is planning to break the hiring freeze to hire the appropriate faculty for the new program to run “accordingly”.
“My staff and I are fully aware that the timing may not seem right considering the recent approval to increase tuition by 4.8 percent, but we think the hiring of new staff in the music department is an investment in our students’ future.”
Papazian said the university is putting $400 million into the program, which includes renovation on Earl Hall to begin after the pilot semester is complete. The $400 million budget also designates $20 million to hire new faculty and purchase Beats headphones for the department.
“Similar to our newly renovated library, we are trying to make sure that we are providing our students with the tools they require to be successful,” said Papazian. “Whether it’s the headphones they are using in class or the professors instructing the class, we think our students deserve the best.
Alicia DeVito, Student Government President, said she is upset at the university’s decision to rapidly spend money on projects such as the new program, especially right after the announcement to raise tuition by 4.8 percent days earlier.
“Offering our student body the best resources and professors is one thing but to create an entire program from what seems like out of nowhere just doesn’t seem like a solution to our already existing complaints,” said DiVito.
Patrick Dilger, Director of Public Affairs, said he has been getting emails everyday about program being approved; some emails expressing more approval than others.
“With every new idea that is proposed, there’s the risk of it not working out and our staff has taken the time to consider those possibilities. After discussing that at several of our meetings we think the possible benefits out weigh the risks.”
Dilger said he is sympathetic to the students’ concerns, but wants to assure the campus that the students best interest were at the center of this decision. Dilger said he sat down with the chairperson of the music department, Dr. Craig Hlavac to discuss the curriculum to obtain the degree and even though it’s not finalized now it will be in time for the start of the semester.
“You’re just going to have to trust us,” said Hlavac. “Only time will prove to the students that this program will only breed more success for the university. I am happy to be a part of this process.”
This article was written for the April Fool’s Day issue. All information and sources are fictional.
Photo Credit: telomi