Not enough enrollment to fill Ethics, Gender Studies classes

Marcella Park

The Ethics and Gender Studies courses will not be offered next year due to a lack of student sign-ups.

Only three students signed up for Ethics next year, and two for Gender Studies, English teacher Malina Mamigonian said.

Mamigonian, who teaches both classes, said that courses in the Interdisciplinary Studies and Independent Research department contribute to an imbalance of enrollments with a number of over-enrolled classes, such as Psychology.

“Occasionally, in all departments, various courses go on a hiatus,” Interdisciplinary Studies and Independent Research department chair Larry Klein said. “This occurs to provide variety in offerings, because of faculty staffing requirements, and/or due to student demand. The latter applies to the two courses referenced. There is no reason to anticipate that those courses will not run again in the future.”

Ethics: Philosophical Traditions and Everyday Morality is described in its course description as a class which “examines moral issues of everyday life and asks questions about character, conduct, and social justice.”

Gender and Sexuality, according to its course description, “examines the ethics of gender and sex-based social roles.” Students in this class host the annual Women’s History Month Assembly speaker. The class was created as Women’s Studies at Westlake School to fill the need for such a class in the early 1980s at an all-girl school as a full-year course.

Now offered one semester each, Ethics and Gender Studies have been presented as complementary courses.

“The Women’s History Month Assembly also started with such speakers as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and Maya Angelou,” Mamigonian said. “Some of the speakers at these assemblies have come from the Westlake School: Jessica Yellin, Dara Torres and Sally Ride. I hope that this program will continue, as it brings speakers to Harvard-Westlake who present real-world perspectives and history and offer positive role models for all students.”