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Student government hosts annual Majors Night

Christian Myers | Monday, January 23, 2012

The East Wing of South Dining Hall was loud, busy and full of students Monday night, but not because of the dinnertime rush. 

Approximately 600 students attended the seventh annual Majors Night, organized by student government’s academic affairs department and held from 6 to 8 p.m

Neal Ravindra, chair of the academic affairs committee, said information was provided about the many majors available on campus, but also about minors, research opportunities, opportunities to volunteer, internships and scholarships.

“The primary purpose was to answer any questions students may have about their course of study at Notre Dame and to allow students to learn about opportunities outside the classroom — to both lessen confusion and to inform,” Ravindra said.

“[I went] to check out all of the majors and minors that interest me,” he said. “I think they did a great job of displaying information and having people talk about the experience of the students in each program.”

Freshman Ashley Armstrong said she knows she wants to study engineering, but she is not sure what kind. 

“I enjoyed the time I spent here and talked to a lot of people about engineering,” she said. “I also talked to someone from CUSE; it was very informative and I now plan to apply for funding so I can do research in London over the summer. I didn’t know Notre Dame would pay for something like that.” 

Ravindra said the majority of the students in attendance were freshmen. 

He said traditionally, not many sophomores, juniors or seniors attend the event, even though many groups were represented at the event, all of which offer valuable opportunities to upperclassmen.

He also said students who already have a major can still come to learn about other academic opportunities. 

“It is the best and quickest way for upperclassmen to learn about adding minors or concentrations,” Ravindra said.

Sophomore Michael Neuberger said he is not sure what course of study he wants to follow, and went to Majors Night to learn more about the different opportunities. 

“I’m unsure about what major I want. I just switched from the business school to political science, but I’m also looking at other possible Arts and Letters majors,” Neuberger said. “I officially declared as a political science major today, so I came here to grab some of the information sheets they are handing out.”

Ravindra said the event is also important for various members of the Notre Dame faculty.

“It allows faculty to disseminate information about their departments, meet new students and recruit students,” he said.

Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) professor Tom Stapleford said Majors Night is a great way for the department to reach out to students. 

“Not many students know about the Program of Liberal Studies. It is a great way for us to get the word out to students and a great opportunity for them to ask questions of us,” Stapleford said.

Students were asked to complete and submit a survey about their experience at the event and Ravindra said the results will be used to maintain and improve the event in the future. 

“The survey allows us to see what’s working and what’s not working,” Ravindra said.