Выпуск: 136 от 17/12/2012, Рубрика: моно“Б”лог
Respectfully submitted and written by
Samson Martirosyan.
 
 
Bewildered Herd[1]
 
Lately I have had discussions with several classmates on different issues, which are connected to our university. These discussions were mainly caused by the very recent developments and core shifts in both structural organization of university and in the freshly “baked” Institute of Law and Politics, precisely. The conversations with the above mentioned people made me become even more confident of the fact, that quite a big part of my class is bewildered and is completely not satisfied (in some cases even angry) with constant changes, that we have seen during 4 years of our study. As time passes quite fast and the graduation year approaches, the level of disappointment constantly increases. Having said this, I want to mention some of the reasons why this is happening now and why the assessment of consequences is so vital for all students and for me, personally.
 
In the year of 2009, along with 28 other people, I was admitted to the Faculty of Political Science and became freshman of the Department of International Relations. At that time, we couldn’t even imagine that in only 2 years the faculty of Political Science would be eliminated and included in the Faculty of Social and Political Science, which, let’s say, was a blended mixture of randomly chosen faculties (if we want to call things with their real names). By that time our department had already changed two deans, which brought additional problems and difficulties for each dean had his own methods and style of running the faculty. I had almost got used to new structure and moreover had almost no doubts that the next year I would graduate from the Faculty of Social Political Sciences…but, again to my disappointment, things are not always as they seem. In fact this year we were kindly informed, that from then and on we were going to be the integral part of a completely new structure. Along with the Faculty of Law, we became the Institute of Law and Politics. The administration couldn’t evade changing the dean, of course. At this point, there were some people, who started applauding loud and approved this change, as, by the way, ANY other change. This process will not necessarily lead directly to a positive change, well in fact any change can only be considered positive if students benefit from it. Now can I claim that I have benefited from this change? Well my answer is NO, after all I’m not even sure that something of this kind will not happen again.
 
Let’s now try to assess the consequences of changes we have had during last 4 years on the example of our schedule. The reason why I want to emphasize the schedule is that it is one of the most, if not the most discussed issue. When one decides to enter the department of International Relations (or any other department), I am pretty sure that he or she expects to learn the cornerstone subjects starting from the first year straight till the very last year. Those cornerstone subjects are the most important ones, such as for example Theory of International Relations, History of International Relations, Political Science, Diplomatic Law, Diplomatic Protocol and Etiquette, Conduct of Diplomatic Correspondence and many many others. Only after four years of deep study of these subjects and only if there are no gaps or uncertain points, an alumni is ready to work in the relevant field.  Additional subjects should also be taught, but in no circumstances their amount should exceed the amount of the above mentioned subjects or even somehow be barrier for students. A good university should produce, yes, literally produce highly skilled young people. If it doesn’t, then…  Again to my great surprise ( the state of being astonished all the time seems to follow me already 4 years) I have had only a tiny fraction of those cornerstone subjects and only for one semester, which is not even a complete year. Since we learned them only one term, we just had to learn too many things in excessively short period of time. Sometimes pressure was a real burden for some individuals. Instead we have had a colorful bunch of additional subjects, which I don’t even want to mention.  While demands to the administration, made by me personally and my several classmates were refused, our faculty was in the never ending process of structural change, which was labeled as a change for the better. For some other faculties this might really be a change for the better, but when many classmates and I are disappointed, I cannot think of other faculties.

To sum up, it is still not clear for me which path has been chosen and to which direction we are moving. Are we going to have more changes, which bring nothing positive to students, or are we going to say enough to those changes and make real REFORMS, rather than superficial changes? Is it the time that will answer to our never ending why or we ourselves will get answers? Only with deep awareness of our own mistakes and mistakes of others, who have influence on us, we will be able to boost a real change for the better.
 

[1] This expression belongs to American writer and political commentator Walter Lipmann; later Noam Chomsky used this expression in his speeches, when he expressed his point of view when describing the way American democracy functions.
 
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Idea 12/03/2019