Sunday, March 29, 2009

communication studies is freaking awesome

As many of you already know, us Comm majors have suffered a terrible insult this past week.
Kimberly Elworthy's Cord article about the apparent shortcomings of the Communication Studies major sent shockwaves through the Comm community. Quite the outrage, from what I've heard. Well I'm outraged too. But instead of posting aggressive insults on her Facebook wall, I'm going to try to do something a little bit more constructive: vent through my class blog!
So, you've all read it. So I'm going to avoid recapping the article and rebutting every short-sighted, generalized claim Elworthy made. That's pretty easy. What I'd like to do here is list the top 3 reasons I love Communication Studies classes, and why everbody else should too :)
1) We have some of the coolest class discussions ever
Try and find another major on campus where regular classroom discussions revolve around everything that is downright interesting: the Internet, television, radio, the news, the entertainment industry, culture, politics, society...Comm studies students get a behind-the-scenes look at basically evey element of society that other majors may study exclusively. That HAS to be more invigorating than molecular biology.
2) We learn how to communicate!
No, really. We do. Check out Nonverbal Comm, Human Comm Processes, etc. Not only are we learning how to be the best damned communicators around, we'll get to apply these skills each and every day in our lives...AKA job fairs, interviews, metting the boyfriend's parents, you get it. Classroom time that is often structured around discussion, which allows us to apply these skills often.
3) Bird Major my butt: Comm Majors can get ANY JOB THEY WANT
Biz Majors will argue with you on this one, but depending on how well you present yourself and your resume, you can get a shot at the same jobs usually designated for any business graduates. Now, those Biz kids gain a much more extensive and in-depth knowledge of the field, but mostly every job in the field offers internal training. You can learn a ton once you have a foot in the door. What's most important is being able to communicate effectively, understand the role the companies you apply to play in society, and essentially sell yourself. We're basically trained to be well-spoken, well-learned individuals.
Well I could go on all day here, but I want to know what YOU like most about Comm!
Let me have it


  1. I agree, I think she is wrong in saying that it is a broad programs with no focus. Ya communication studies offers students the opportunity to pick courses from various different electives to complete their degree, people can still pick the courses and subjects that they wish to study. That does not mean the program is broad, students just have a lot of choice in the electives they wish to study. I see this as a positive thing. Also the topics discusses in communication studies are awesome! They are so interesting, and are actually things that apply to our lives currently. The fourth year seminars are also a plus of the program, since each covers very specific topics and discussions; and allows students to engage in the program and material.

  2. I totally agree with you that Comm studies is an awesome program to be in. Ive enjoyed my last four years at Laurier in Communications- that I can't believe it is basically over and that most of us are graduating. Communications has taught me so much about media, history, technology, language, culture, communication itself- and countless other diciplines that otherwise I would have no idea about. What I love about communications is that it is an interdisciplinary program. There are no limits to what you can achieve if you work hard and want to get the most out of the program. Often times I am asked "What exactly is comm studies"? I assume that from an outsiders perspective it may not be obvious or easy to understand, but that fact of the matter is that comm provides you with actual skills to tackle the workforce. Like you mentioned, we may not have the practical business skills- unless we have the bus option- but our ability to vamp up our resumes is valuable. At the end of the day, Ive enjoyed comm very much and would not change it for any other degree- I am going to grad school and could not be happier with the decisions Ive made over the past 4 years!

  3. I think the main issue here is a lack of acceptance on the writers part. While as a comm major I have had issues with the program, mainly a couple classes, this is certainly the same with any major. The idea that the program is essentially an easy way to a degree is ridiculous. I would like to see students in other majors tackle some of the readings we are required to. Truly understanding works from Heidegger, Feenberg ect are very difficult to do and certain not an easy road to an honors degree. I personally have over 40 pages of essay and assignments due over the next five days. While this is not always the case, I think that is a difficult task for any undergrad student.
    The other serious problem I have with this article is how there were criticisms based on the perceived lack of focus in the program. I personally believe there is just room for students to take the courses in which they are interested. In all honesty I am currently taking a global studies course which counts as a comm elective and enjoying it very much. I think it is a class in which many people would enjoy and take a lot away from. I like the idea of having some freedom in this respect. It supports the idea of not merely educating people for a job, but educating them for life and giving them a well rounded liberal education. Maybe this writer should focus on writing something constructive, or just shut up all together.

  4. I believe the Communication Studies program at Laurier is a pretty good program for the most part, but it definitely has its flaws. I am taking an honors double major in Communication Studies and Sociology, so therefore I have been given the opportunity to take 20 classes from both departments. I personally have enjoyed the Sociology program far better than Communication Studies. However, each person's experience at Laurier and their experience with their degree is subjective. Looking back on my Communication Studies classes, the only three that I have truly enjoyed were CS 202 (Nonverbal Communication), CS 207 (Media and Society), and this course CS400h (Citizen Media & Public Sphere). These three courses focus on issues and ideas that can be related to real world events happening in present time. When I chose to come to Laurier because of their Communication Studies program, I thought most of the program was going to mirror these three classes, but I was wrong. I think this program is very outdated for the most part, as students are focusing too much on the theoretical aspects of the past. This class (CS400h) is one of the only classes that actually talked about "physically communicating" with one another in our world. We discussed communication in terms of online networking including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blogs, etc. I have learned so much about how fast technology is changing and how communication has changed significantly due to technology.
    I feel that the Communication Studies program at Laurier is very scattered, and every professor has a different goal and understanding about what students have been and should be learning. To compare it to the Sociology department, you can tell that the Communication Studies program has not been around as long. Looking back on all 20 courses that I have taken for my Communication Studies degree I am very disappointed that I chose this route for university. I do feel that if I go for a job interview in the near future, my Communication Studies degree will look much better on my resume because people are not really sure what this degree includes. If I were to just have a Sociology degree, I feel that it sounds a lot more traditional and a lot less interesting. Even though when looking at the bigger picture, I have probably learned more from the Sociology department, but in the job interview this would be irrelevant.

    However, I am happy that Communication Studies was so flexible, because without my Sociology degree, I would feel lost.