Students Examine Stereotypes of College Majors

Students debunked stereotypes during a group facilitation held in Common Grounds on Monday night.

There are many categories of stereotypes a person could get placed into due to associations of race, gender, nationality or hobbies. This facilitation was about the stereotypes associated with some declared college majors.

This facilitation was held as a part of the Group Dynamics and Facilitation class taught by Deanna Durham. The event was not just for class members, but anyone else who wanted to attend as well. This class has also brought other facilitations this semester, such as “Let’s Talk about Sex Baby” and “Cross-Cultural Past, Present, Future.” The student facilitators were students Junior Victoria Clymer, Junior Lucas Driediger, and Junior Alex Poff.

They started by dividing the group into five smaller groups.

Each group then went to small posters that listed a major on it. Each small group would then write any positive or negative stereotypes they had about people in that major. The groups then rotated to all the different stations.

After all the groups were finished there was a time for everyone to react to the stereotypes that had been named and to claim them to be true or false themselves.

Some of the majors discussed were Nursing, Peacebuilding and Development, Biology, Environmental Sustainability, and Business.

A small panel of four students then shared about their experience of their major and how they changed their major itself or how their perceptions of them have changed over their years at EMU.

Junior Sarah Carpenter shared that dropping her biology major and then adding it back later was beneficial to her.

“Doing that helped me focus and decide what I specifically wanted to do with the biology major. There are many times when people just pick a major for no specific reason,” said Carpenter.

At the end of the facilitation, the group went around the circle and shared what knowledge they would take away from the event. A theme that came up was comparing some majors as more or less difficult or easier than another.

One of the group take-aways was learning there are challenging aspects to any major.

Nurses have to take care of bodily messes, Biology majors have long detailed tests, Accounting majors have to know the ins and outs of filing taxes– each has challenges that take different skill sets which not everyone is equipped with.

-Ellen Roth, photo editor, arts editor, web manager


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