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The Daily Tar Heel

Satire: Stop funding the humanities


DTH Photo Illustration. 

Editor's note: This article is satire.

Recently, the Board of Governors approved a new policy for the state budget that non-STEM professors in the UNC System can no longer receive distinguished professorships. These awards give them a pay raise and a funding boost for research. From now on, only professors in STEM departments will be up for the coveted spots. Quite frankly, I don’t know why people are surprised and upset over the news. I actually think it’s a great decision. Here’s why: 

This decision simply reflects the job market. 

People need jobs. And all of the available jobs these days are in Silicon Valley tinkering around on computers and beep-booping with flasks and lab coats. I’m even doing that now. Just clicking around on my computer invented by what were most definitely distinguished professors in STEM fields. Why wouldn't we fund STEM professors when they are teaching our future beep-boopers? 

Shows and movies haven't been that great recently.

I feel like humanities professors are to blame. Have you seen "Bachelor in Paradise"? What about "Five Nights at Freddy’s"? Or "No Hard Feelings"? If the funding that is going to theater and English majors were instead funneled into making actual useful things like faster electric scooters, maybe society would be better off. And what about the movie "Bottoms," featuring Rachel Sennott? Actually, wait, I like that one. 

Thinking critically is annoying.

Humanities professors just drone on about theories and metaphors, and I never understand what they’re saying. I’m always sitting there in class, thinking, "This poem is confusing." Do you remember having to read a book in class and then write about it? It’s always questions like, "How can I think critically?" and "What does this mean about society?" Science, on the other hand, is easy. It doesn’t ask me to do that stuff. There are fun pictures of atoms and electrons and robots that can do cool stuff, like telling me the humidity level outside. 

Now STEM professors can have superiority complexes, too. 

If you’ve ever been forced against your will to speak with a STEM student here at UNC, you would know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you’re a STEM student who was able to read this far into the article, congratulations! The liberal arts education worked for you. Now, STEM professors can carry themselves around campus just like the biochem premed double majors have since the day they arrived in Chapel Hill — better than you. 

Humanities are a waste of time.

In my humanities classes, all I learn to do is how to talk and write about my thoughts. How to listen to other people and recognize where our lives overlap. How to have conversations about where they diverge. And when I disagree, I can still see where they’re coming from. I look at too many metaphors and dissect them meticulously. I waste hours trying to understand a feeling that someone took even more hours to attempt to transcribe. 

After all that work, I have nothing to show for it at the end. Besides the fact that I can hear the people around me a little bit better, see them, their lives and pasts and understand why they think the way they do. I have nothing to show for these humanities classes besides the fact that they made me more of a human. 

STEM classes don’t waste my time like that. Why would we put funding into helping us be better humans?

@dthopinion |

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