“Students should be advocates for their own education.”
By Akira Nishii
I entered the main conference room in our chemistry building, feeling nervous. I was the last to arrive, and I hastily took my place at a boat-shaped table alongside four other students, all undergrads like me. A group of professors sat across from us, chatting amicably among themselves. Scheduling this meeting—and getting more than one faculty member in a room at once—had taken me almost a month. Determined to make the most of their time, I collected my thoughts and skimmed the meeting agenda for a fifth time. Our group’s goal, simple but unprecedented, was spelled out in bold at the top of my notes: “We want to build a university course from the bottom up…”
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