Not Two Cultures-Kelly Sechler

I do not see UCLA as separated into two cultures of North and South campus. On the contrary, I feel that students at UCLA are unusually eclectic and that the school has put many systems in place to keep students well-rounded. One of the things that I feel keeps students from separating into two cultures is that UCLA has rejected the idea of conservatory majors, which seams to be an unusual choice for a school well known for its art and theater students. This forces every student, even actors and musical theater majors, to sample classes from a wide range of fields at UCLA. Not only does this provide for an education outside ones chosen field but it also makes it easier for students to make friends from all walks of life at UCLA. In addition, more and more minors are being offered at the school every day. This allows students to branch out and study something that their interested in but might not necessarily relate to their career path. For example, a minor in theater was recently made available, which allows anyone at UCLA to further explore the arts. (For more information see: http://www.dailybruin.ucla.edu/news/2007/may/09/dramatic_entrance/) Some colleges are quite different from this. At UCLA I meet new people from outside my major every day but when I spent a semester at Carnegie Mellon I went the entire time without meeting a single person from outside my major. They even purposely roomed students from the same major together in the dorms .

Another way that UCLA keeps its students from dividing into North and South is all the extracurricular activities offered on campus. When walking down Bruinwalk no one cares what you major is, they just want you to get involved. UCLA offers everything from dance groups to an Ayn Rand club where anyone is welcome. There are even sports teams open to everyone, even if you have no athletic experience, such as women’s rugby. For many students at UCLA what they study falls secondary to what they do in their spare time. They become defined by their, frat, club, or sport and not by their major.

Lastly, I pull from my own experience to know that many of the stereotypes of what makes a North or South campus student are incorrect. As a theater major I fall into what is considered North campus. When I tell people I am a theater major they tend to jump to the assumption that I spend my days performing and analyzing scripts. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a designer at the theater school and most of my time is spent working on computers. This quarter the two classes I am taking for my major are a computer drafting class and a programming class. In fact, my major is actually a lot more similar to engineering than most people realize. I feel that I am a perfect example of why UCLA can not be neatly split into two groups.

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