While the phrase “get some culture” is often thrown around carelessly, at NJIT, more should take heed. As a tech school, many students are constantly focused on meeting deadlines and studying for major exams, which often leaves them with a little to no time to develop as people. A definitive method to facilitate personal growth is through exploration of the arts, music and literature—topics which are often lumped into ‘culture’. However, because of their demanding schedules and workloads, many students do not take the time to engage with culture on any level. And so, to some extent, NJIT lacks a certain level of culture which individuals need to become well-rounded citizens of the world.
Since most the university’s students are science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors, they often take classes to fulfill requirements that are applicable in their career in the future. As such, they overlook liberal arts courses, some of which they could take to genuinely learn about the world.
For example, with a stellar (and underrated) history program, students could potentially take classes just for the sake of venturing outside of their curriculum-based classes. By taking classes that expose them to new topics, students can develop new ways of thinking and connecting with the people around them. These courses could help students develop an interest in certain styles of art or a certain period of literature or just a certain time period. Fascinations with these topics can only lead to people finding meaningful ways of spending time and pursuing hobbies past college.
Classes are just one way students can become cultured. In an environment where the arts, music, and literature are appreciated, students may be inspired to try something new. While this is the case on many other campuses, it does not seem to be the case on ours. More often than not, events are held on and off campus that might introduce students to new music or literature in some way, and students are not able to attend.
In recent years there have been many improvements in the state of culture at NJIT, with successful plays and musicals in the spring and fall, along with performances by various musical ensembles on campus. These groups make a difference for those involved, and as their numbers grow and interest increases, arts and culture may soon be a staple for NJIT students.