Dornsife too broad for label
Posted October 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm in Opinion
The idea of creating a new identity, or âbrand,â to attach to the name of the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences was introduced at the Dornsife Commons discussion last week. The new identity looks to emphasize Dornsife as an interdisciplinary school.
Branding Dornsife, however, would be a step in the wrong direction. Dornsife is too broad a college to be âbrandedâ at all.
The college encompasses many students with a variety of interests and majors; finding one label to fit everyone is nearly impossible. Labeling could indirectly cause students with various majors or minors to feel excluded because they are no longer part of the âbrand.â
Yes, the name of the college has changed, but that does not mean that we need to change its core identity and values along with it.
Labeling Dornsife as an interdisciplinary school could be polarizing. Some students might be interested in pursuing interdisciplinary topics, but others might want to focus on a specific major.
To get any more specific is to risk alienating some of the applicants, not to mention all the students currently part of Dornsife who applied to the school prior to any branding.
We canât fit such diversity into one label, and we shouldnât try to do so. To try and narrow down Dornsife to one brand is to take away from the openness that makes it unique among the colleges at USC.
Moreover, the freedom from a label in schools within a university has worked well for other institutions thatÂ USC hopes to rival. Consider Harvard, for example, which has a focus on Liberal Arts Education.
This school is similar to âDornsife: Faculty of Arts and Sciences.â Its goal, according to the Harvard website, is to redefine the Liberal Arts Education of the 21st century.
USC parallels this ideology. USC is a mecca for diversity with tolerance of varying interests. If we are to remain a competitive institution, we should, in no way, do so by casting aside certain students in USC Dornsife.
USC Dornsife stands out from the rest of the university because it is not a pre-professional school. The university should want a school that is different and offers a different educational focus than the rest.
By forcing USC Dornsife to conform, the university would be making a mistake. The school has value in its differences and the administration should embrace them.
If USC Dornsife were to change, this image could be in jeopardy. Clearly, the current perception of USC Dornsife works. Students are interested in applying to USC and to USC Dornsife, regardless of any fancy label.
The College of Letters, Arts and Sciences hasnât needed a special brand in the past, so why adopt one now?
USC Dornsife should be proud of its heritage as a College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, instead of trying to reinvent itself under a new brand. One hundred and thirty-one years of history have gone into the college, and building on that tradition would be a more rewarding course of action than changing course completely.
Natasha Sosa is a freshman majoring in neuroscience.