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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Communiversity return a success

Published: February 8, 2008
Section: News

Due to the efforts of Castle Quad Senator and this year’s Communiversity Coordinator, Rebecca Wilkof ’10, the Communivesity program has returned after a year hiatus.

The program, which serves “not only to teach fun and interesting things outside of the classroom but also create more unity within the community,” has over 330 students enrolled, said Wilkof.

The program this year was able to sidestep the potential issue of not gaining enough student participation. “Getting the word out is difficult,” said Wilkof. Regardless, “turnout has been really good,” Wilkof added.

The program did not run last year because of room availability conflicts said Wilkof. To avoid this issue, Wilkof booked rooms for the Communiversity classes for this semester before winter break.

Communiversity – a program that gives Brandeis students, faculty, staff, and administrators the privilege to teach amazingly unique courses – includes 23 courses this year ranging from cooking to spoken word poetry.

New this year was a focused attempt to involve more graduate students into the program. Five graduate students are currently teaching classes now, which can “hopefully get rid of the stereotypes that grad and undergrad students have about each other,” Wilkof expressed. “My vision was that [the program] would…bind the community.”

Funded by the Student Union, the Communiversity program has been able to stay within its $700 budget. “That’s the beauty of it” Wilkof expressed. “It’s so cheap!”

Because of its growing interest, Wilkof hopes to make some improvements in the Communiversity program, especially with advertising.

“I would like it to be more of a tradition. If it could happen consistently, it would be great.”

Wilkof wants to expand the program to have three sessions throughout next the year. “I really want students to be expecting it and be excited for it,” Wilkof added. She hopes that students will associate specific times of the year, such as from the semester break to winter break, with the coming and continuation of the Communiversity program.

Another idea Wilkof considered was adding an online element to the program, through which some courses could be conducted. While Wilkof had not yet entertained the new component much, she said, “[The idea] is very interesting. I’ll definitely look into it.”

The Communiversity classes began Jan. 21 and will run through Feb. 5. Any member of the Brandeis community is eligible to teach, enroll, and attend the courses.

“It’s not too late to sign up” said Wilkof. Interested members of the community can still enroll through the Student Union website.