Notes from Open Discussion on General Education

On behalf of SAAB and the Curriculum Committee, I would like to extend my thanks to all those who showed up to discuss General Education at Lewis & Clark on this last Friday, January 22nd. The discussion brought up tons of great points, put some workable ideas on the table, and helped inform SAAB members how to best proceed in the process of GE reform and represent the student body.

Notes from the discussion are available here. The notes are unsorted—just in the order of when they came up in discussion, for the most part. I spent the meeting writing down these points, so my own personal bias may have crept in here and there. If you would like to comment on any of the points or how I transcribed them, you may comment on the form, or email me personally at

This was the first event of several this semester where students and faculty will discuss how best to proceed with General Education Reform. I, for one, wholeheartedly appreciate the involvement I have seen so far from the student body. To get involved or keep involved in the discussion, get in touch with your department’s SAAB rep! They are one of the best resources available to you.

Aaron Fellows
SAAB Chair

A Special Message From SAAB

Dear Students,

No one can deny that we are an avidly self-representing student body, one who takes an active role in shaping our education and our experience at Lewis & Clark. The very existence of our Student Academic Affairs Board is a testament to this—we have a dedicated group of students from every academic department and program, responsible for facilitating student-faculty interaction and representing their department’s interests. This feature makes us unique among colleges. At present, the conversation we are having centers on the General Education curriculum at Lewis & Clark, and I would like to talk to you all about the resources that SAAB can provide in this respect—and invite you to an event. At a minimum, I hope this gives everyone something to think about over the holidays, and that we can come back refreshed and ready to continue to work to improve this campus.

Among other members, SAAB consists of one representative from each academic department and program. Hopefully you know your SAAB representative already, but if you don’t, you can find out who they are here. Talk to your SAAB representative about the structure of your department, courses your department does or does not offer, or any other issues which concern your department individually. Your representative may also facilitate discussions within your department, in which students and faculty can come together to share opinions and examine important issues. With respect to general education, your SAAB representative is a great starting point for examining the values you would like your department to reflect, and what contributions it can make toward general education.

SAAB also has a Chair (that’s me) who sits on the college Curriculum Committee, which makes decisions concerning the structure of the college curriculum, which courses will be taught, and issues of curricular importance. Perhaps you know me, but if you don’t, feel free to get in touch! Talk to me about issues concerning the college curriculum at large (including General Education), or about coordinating efforts across departments or other entities of the college.

Currently, there is a motivated, forward-moving discussion going on about how General Education can and should be reformed at Lewis & Clark. With respect to that, I would like to invite you all to an open discussion, held in the Chapel, at 3 pm on Friday, January 22nd. The event will include a presentation by faculty members about the process and current goals of General Education reform, a discussion of our ideas as a student body, and the creation of a list of the major points which we want to consider going forward. The discussion will be directed at the members of SAAB, who will represent student interests at a faculty meeting in February to continue discussing next steps in GE reform.

To kick-start this discussion, I would like to invite you to submit topics of discussion, questions, and comments via this form, which will be open from now until the event. Additionally, please be on the lookout for intra-department discussions held by your SAAB representatives, which will give you the opportunity to have a similar conversation on a smaller, more personal scale.

Thank you for your efforts as a student body to continually improve this campus.


Aaron Fellows
Chair, Student Academic Affairs Board