I would like to express my disappointment at the closure of ASUW’s Experimental College. That student-run entity which thrived at the University for almost forty years was a unique institution, which brought a wonderful variety of classes to both University students and the general public. Where else could you find instruction ranging from salsa dancing, to podcasting, to Homer’s Illiad, to farming with horses, to playing the Australian digeridoo, all offered from a single location and advertised in a single, reliable, quarterly catalog — and all available for an affordable course fee?

I know little of the circumstances leading up to the closure, but I can imagine that the entity’s $50,000 annual budget may have made it an attractive target; and I know from reading its catalog in recent years that a few teachers were each offering multiple courses which may have had a stultifying effect on the vitality of the College; a problem easy to recognize and easy to remedy. 

While the fortunes of the Experimental College affected a great many people both on and off campus, so far as I know there was little advertisement of its precarious position in its final months; nor was there much attempt, I believe, to solicit input on the College’s future from its many student beneficiaries. I found no warning of the College’s imminent dissolution in The Daily or elsewhere, and a Google search shows no published notice or explanation following the College’s closing.

I will miss it.


Harold Bishop

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