Discover New York is a three-credit course designed to introduce students to the dynamics and history of the greatest city in the world. While its intentions are admirable, the Discover New York program has some serious flaws.
“It’s a joke,” said senior Erik Nelson, a Criminal Justice major who took Discover New York his freshman year. “I grew up in New York and the class overall was pointless.”
While the program was only established five years ago, even new students have objections to this mandatory course.
“Discover New York was a bit of a letdown,” said Maggie Snyder, a freshman in the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health. “Maybe it’s good for out-of-towners, but New Yorkers already know much of what DNY teaches. I think there really shouldn’t be a mandatory course like this, but just a requirement to visit the [Metropolitan Museum of Art] or catch a Broadway show.”
St. John’s advertises Discover New York as an exciting experience meant to capture the cultural wealth the city has to offer, but in reality, it dilutes it for students. Though the course is backed by good intentions, it needs to be overhauled into a class that students want to take.
The problem with Discover New York is not the way it is taught, but the underlying concept the course is built on. Condensing a theme of the city, such as religion or immigration, into a single semester program does not do New York City justice.
New York is a unique metropolis with a rich history. It could be broken into an endless number of facets. Undoubtedly, there will be some disappointment, no matter what concentration the course focuses on, because it cannot touch on everything that makes New York City the wondrous city that it is.
Though the course remains a disappointment to many, its attempt to get students interested in taking advantage of New York is commendable.
“I have mixed feelings [about not taking] Discover New York,” said transfer sophomore Sean Culkin. “I wasn’t eligible to take it, but from what I’ve heard the class is a downer anyway, so I guess I didn’t miss anything. [It’s] too bad because this is a class people should get excited for and I haven’t heard that.”
In the end, that remains the general sentiment about this well-intentioned, but poorly executed course. After so many years, Discover New York needs revamping to become more appealing to students before and after they take the course.