Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

President Bernhardt plans to integrate AI into Emerson classrooms

Kellyn Taylor

The Student Government Association’s Feb. 25 meeting focused largely on President Jay Bernhardt’s plan to integrate artificial intelligence into Emerson’s classrooms. Tyler Rowe, Emerson’s academic assessment designer and a member of the recently formed AI work group, attended the meeting, sharing information and hearing testimonies from SGA’s General Assembly on AI in the classroom. 

Rowe explained that the work group is open to all faculty, staff, students, and administrators who share an interest in shaping the college’s future guidelines for including AI in the classroom. He attended the meeting to gauge student opinions on the idea of integrating AI into the classroom.

“A lot of tasks [that] are human-operated will soon be done by AI,” said Nandan Nair, executive treasurer of SGA. 

He emphasized the need for the development of critical thinking skills even when using AI. 

“It’s how we restructure our curriculum in a way that [students] may be using AI, but they are still keeping their own original thought,” Nair said.

Meggie Phan, executive secretary of SGA, expressed the need to integrate AI in the classroom, not as a scapegoat for students who do not want to complete their work but to elevate creative work that students develop on their own. 

“How do professors encourage an environment where [students] have the discipline?” Phan said. “To not just use AI because it’s easier, but to use it to help?”

Kayla Armbruster, the political communications senator, voiced support for AI in the classroom, citing the importance of understanding the technology in a workforce that is competitive and will soon be reliant on employees’ knowledge of how to use AI.

“I don’t think AI will ever take my job,” Armbruster said. “But I think people who can use AI will.”

Carmen Hu, the intercultural senator, cited concern over students who may develop a reliance on using AI as a substitute for critical thinking when using it to complete assignments.

“ChatGTP or AI is a very useful thing for self-learning, but when we gradually rely on it, how do we still develop our self-learning ability or critical thinking?” she said.

Rowe proposed the formation of a discussion panel focused on AI, where students and professors could attend and discuss their concerns or support for the integration of AI in Emerson classes. SGA expressed support for this idea, suggesting that student representatives from each department also attend, so they could understand how the influence of AI would differ across all of Emerson’s majors and minors. 

Nair later provided an update on the status of budget appeals, citing the eight remaining appeals that still need to come before SGA’s general assembly. The debate from the Feb. 16 meeting over WECB’s request for $10,444 was not resolved, as SGA’s concerns could not be answered due to the absence of a WECB representative to explain the request and answer questions. 

Nair explained that the remaining budget for this semester’s appeals sits at $24,721 and reminded the general assembly members that annual budget request meetings will start on March 3.

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About the Contributor
Katherine Cressman, Staff Writer
Katherine is a freshman journalism major from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. When she is not writing you can find her singing in Achoired Taste, playing tennis, or watching cat videos on TikTok.

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