The Economics Center

The Economics Center was started in the Fall of 1999 and is located in Chambers 2187.  It was conceived of, and remains today, a student run initiative, which benefits from advise from the Economics faculty and funding for specific activities from the College.

 The proposal document which led to the creation of the Center best describes its aims, and excerpts are provided below:

“It is commonly acknowledged that the Economics major is amongst the most challenging at Davidson College. The intensity, pace, and rigor of courses, remains virtually unchanged from Economics 101 to the Senior Session. Yet, the Department’s efforts at providing an enriching program of study have been strongly acknowledged by students, who have elected to major in economics in large numbers.

There is, however, a lingering sense that the Economics major experience is wanting in certain non-curricular respects. It has been noted that Economics majors often graduate without ever knowing, or knowing of, some of their fellow graduates. Study groups and similar intellectual support systems, though much needed, are uncommon. Rising sophomores and juniors often feel at loose ends in terms of getting helpful advice about dealing with the prospective workload of a difficult major, and it is quite likely that some prospective majors simply opt for safe shelters of other majors which are less encumbered by heavy reputations.

Indeed, the Department has attempted to create a stronger environment for students by enabling the ODE to organize the Fall picnic, and an end-of-the-semester bash is now scheduled  for the first week of May. This proposal attempts to complement these Departmental events by establishing a process [activities of the Economics Center] which, if successful, will foster a  more nurturing environment for our majors.”

 The role of the Economics Center has been evolving, and will continue to do so in light of the changing realities faced by the students. Activities and opportunities which the Center is attempting to promote are summarized below:

  •  The anchor activity of the Economics Center is tutorial assistance provided free of cost to all Economics 101 students who seek it. Typically, four Economics majors or minors are appointed  by the Department as Tutors each semester. Tutorial  sessions are available on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 8pm-11pm.
  •  Two important permanent activities of the Center are on the drawing board:
    • A mentor program for economics majors and minors. This program is currently in planning and is expected to be implemented in Fall 2001.
    • Preliminary planning is proceeding on an online newsletter, which has as its targeted audience not only current students but alumni and friends of the Economics department. The first issue is expected to go online before graduation.

It is noteworthy that when fully operational, both these projects will be fully in the charge of students.

  •  In addition, the Economics Center sponsors talks and workshops of interest to it constituency. In Fall 2000, the Center jointly hosted a presentation on ‘Why Microsoft will Win’  by Professor Richard McKenzie, University of California at Irvine. In Spring 2000, it jointly hosted workshop with the Careers Services office for preparing students for the job market.