For the first time in more than a decade, Fairhaven College is offering its Special Quarter this winter, with nine classes linked to environmental justice and climate change.
All Western Washington University students are welcome to register for one or more of the Special Quarter courses, according to Fairhaven College’s website.
Following an Oct. 11 meeting, students and faculty created a plan of action to determine which classes will be taught Special Quarter.
The nine classes will include a World Issues Forum, social issues regarding water, population, health and environment, climate change case studies, global climate change, sustainable forestry, sustainable energy and Space, Place and Imagination.
At the end of the Special Quarter, students will present what they have learned to the Western community.
“Lots of times students at Western think Fairhaven is kind of off-limits to them. But that is not at all true,” said Fairhaven College Professor John Bower. “We love having non-Fairhaven students in our classrooms, and they are always welcome.”
Bower will teach a course in global climate change during this Special Quarter. His course will incorporate case studies for students to become more familiar with climate change on a global scale as well as in Pacific Northwest communities, Bower said.
“I have goals for what the students are going to learn, but I also have a personal goal that the students are going to teach me,” Bower said.
This Special Quarter has not occurred at Fairhaven College since 1999 and is a unique approach to covering several issues in a variety of classes to gain different perspectives, according to the Fairhaven College website.
"These issues are important," said Hilary Schwandt, assistant professor of one of Fairhaven College's Special Quarter courses in an email.
“The world needs students to contemplate these issues,” she said.
Schwandt will teach a course during the Special Quarter on population, health and the environment. She hopes her students will take away the unequal distribution of climate change, she said.
Gary Bornzin, Fairhaven College professor of Climate Change: Systemic Solutions will teach Personal to Global, a course that will address climate change during the Special Quarter.
“We need to teach it, we need to learn about it ourselves, we need students to become alerted to it, we need to be aware that there are going to be jobs in the future, and we need all hands on deck,” he said.
Bornzin previously taught in the physics department before teaching at Fairhaven and is thrilled to implement the theme of environmental justice and climate change next quarter. His goal for his course is to focus on the issue of climate change and why humans aren’t doing much about it, he said.