Departments reimagine major declaration

Virtual major declaration is yet another result of COVID-19

Garrett Price

In light of regulations aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19, students declare through a computer screen instead of by hand.

Major declaration typically involves in person meetings and physical paperwork between students and faculty. But for some departments it will be all virtual.

“Given that reducing contacts across different groups of people is good for helping to control the virus and the fact that lots of students have been in and out of quarantine, we decided it’s time to go for a remote approval process,” Robin LeBlanc, professor of politics, said.

This year, LeBlanc is facilitating the pairing of advisors and advisees for the politics department virtually through Zoom meetings and virtual signatures.

“Needless to say, everything is complicated in a pandemic,” said professor Bob Strong, interim head of the politics department.

But students are still able to sign the document by hand to preserve a part of the experience.

Lily Mott, ‘23, said she appreciated the new changes.

“I was worried how the process was going to work, but I’m relieved that it was easy and very comprehensible,” Lily Mott, ‘23, a politics and journalism major said.

But sophomores are not the only students affected by these changes. Judy Park, ‘22, declared environmental studies this year, and did not notice any difference in her two declaration experiences.

“Beside the fact there were different professors involved…there was nothing different,” Park said.

The philosophy department has also chosen to move major declarations online. However, the religion and classics departments plan to maintain the procedure as it has been carried out in the past.