Gay marriage course returns in fall 2011
The special topics course, Politics of Gay Marriage, will be offered by the Women and Gender Studies department for the second time next semester.
The course was first offered in the fall 2010 semester and taught by W.K. Mott, associate professor of political science and member of the Women and Gender Studies program. Mott will teach the class again this fall. According to Mott, the first run of the class was successful. “I often look at the success or failure of my classes by looking at what the students wrote about,” Mott said. “There was a lot of good stuff.” Senior Tony Angelella, who previously took the class, said he enjoyed both the professor and the course. “My favorite part of the class was the discussions we would have about what it was like in the past,” Angelella said. “We all see today’s culture but kind of overlook how things were back then.” Mott said people had worried that the class would be about advocacy but the evidence showed otherwise. “We had accomplished balance in the class,” Mott said. “There was freedom in the course.” Senior Caitlin Ditchfield, who took the class with Angelella, said the class soon realized that even though they agreed broadly on the subject, the specifics were often debatable. The Archdiocese of Newark initially expressed concerns with the class’ content prior to its start, but Mott said he doesn’t worry about the class being cancelled. “I trust the academic processes in place, and I trust my colleagues,” Mott said. “Internally I have no concerns, but external comments seem to be exercised.” Ditchfield said students who were not in the class often expressed excitement for the class being offered or for possibly taking it in the future. “The opposition seemed to mostly come from those outside of the University,” Ditchfield said. Mott said the favorite part of his classes is always his students. “This class was a special crowd,” Mott said. “On the first day of class there was a guard at the door because of external threats.” However, Mott said he does not take threats seriously. “It only shows the level of anti-intellectualism that is engaged in this issue,” Mott said. “It will be what it is going to be.” Ditchfield said she was excited that the class was going to be taught again next semester. “I have recommended it to my friends,” Ditchfield said. “I think it will be a great opportunity for more people to understand the political theory behind this status.” Angelella is also excited that the class will be taught next semester and hopes it becomes permanent. “Any class that requires you to step outside your comfort zone (which I didn’t think I would have to do in this class) and think critically should be offered at a University, no matter the content,” Angelella said. Ashley Duvall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.