The Fall semester has come to an end, and course evaluations can come in handy for students that are thinking of taking certain courses next semester or eventually. For these evaluations, the courses will be evaluated on five criteria; the attendance factor, the professor, overall level of difficulty of the class, overall workload for the class, and exam difficulty. At the end, there will be an overall rating for the course as a letter grade (A-F).

This course evaluation will cover SSO 101, or Science and Society taught by Ann Ohkawa. This is a freshman seminar class that is basically like an introduction to Stony Brook University which includes its resources, morals and principles.

1. The attendance factor

Considering the fact that this class is pass/fail, attendance is kind of important. The syllabus states that more than three unexcused absences will result in a U (unsatisfactory) for this class, meaning you have failed. If you email them with a proper excuse before class, they will probably excuse you, but just be wary of this fact.

2. The professor

Because this class is a freshman seminar for 2000+ students, your professor and TA will vary. We had Ann Ohkawa and found that she was incompetent and did not seem to know the content of the course well and was unprepared to start class. She was kind, but altogether confused and unsure of herself.

3. Overall difficulty of the class

It’s a pass/fail class, and because a freshman seminar class is required for first semester, they really want you to pass. Honestly, even if you wanted to fail this class, you probably wouldn’t be able to. They even give you extra opportunities to make up homeworks. You’ll pass, don’t worry.

4. Overall workload of the class

There is one weekly journal that takes five minutes to write that is due each week. It’s practically nothing compared to the workloads of other classes. Even if you don’t do these journals they will give you extra opportunities to complete them. Also, you have to go to certain events to meet certain criteria and write about them, they are annoying but not impossible.

5. Exam Difficulty

There are no exams in this course, however, there is a debate at the end of the semester. The debate takes like an hour of preparation beforehand and if you do some preliminary research, you should be fine. Remember, they want you to pass so even if you screw up the debate they will be forgiving.

Overall, the grade for this course, considering all the factors, is an D. Honestly, this class is a joke. Don’t get it wrong, you’ll love how easy it is but it was practically useless. You will learn more about “microaggressions” and “privilege” than about actual resources you could have used to better your experience at Stony Brook. Also, the professor we had was simply incompetent. You will dread coming to this class because we engage in pointless discussions that do not help you or answer your questions, but alas, you must. Then again, it could also depend on your professor.


Mehar Bharatiya

Hi, I'm Mehar and I'm an Anthropology Major and Geology Minor at Stony Brook University! I like reading, writing, art, and cats. In my free time I like pondering philosophical quandaries, watching meme compilations, and engaging in political discourse!

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