How Agora Days classes are chosen

Reed Phillips, Staff Writer

Agora Days is in late February, but signing up for classes has ended. The list of classes was selected by the Agora Days committee from 131 submissions from students, faculty, parents, and community members.

When selecting classes, the committee had no specific set of criteria, but chose classes that would appeal to many people and presented a wide variety of topics. For example, there were four proposed classes about Russian culture, but one was selected. On the other hand, there were two approved classes about Korean culture, but their focuses (“Korea 101” about Korea, and “Do you know annyeonghaseyo?” about KPop) were different enough to merit two separate classes.

Agora Days Coordinator Chris Guyotte said that this year’s classes were good, and was especially interested in “‘Getting that Mag Swag’–Building a Publication from the Ground Up”, a class about making print publications with digital software taught by UIUC faculty.

Another class that stood out to Guyotte was “Reading Museum Spaces”, a class that analyzes how museum spaces are arranged and how they may reflect colonial views. The class, offered by the Spurlock Museum, was offered last year but nobody signed up.

When students went to sign up, the most popular classes were the perennial favorites: cooking classes. Other popular categories included rap, especially “The flow of Kanye”, and P.E. classes like “Tae Kwon Do”.

The online submission process is still having kinks worked out. In some cases, the system failed to prevent people from signing up for full classes. The most egregious example was “ARCHIVE DEEP DIVE: Uni High history comes alive”, which had 27 people sign up for its 12 spots.

Another problem was that some periods had fewer classes than others. That was a problem for the Subbies, who sign up last. When it was their turn, 2nd period only had one open class and 8th period had none. To solve the problem, Guyotte went back to rejected submissions and added some of them. Hopefully the kinks can be worked out for next year.