As the millennial generation, we are a well-read group of people; we are capable of deciphering the significance of strategically placed words because we have grown up in an age that seeks motivation and deeper meaning in the things around us.
We can reflect for hours on the depth of a specific quote, admiring the words of others because they mean something direct and unique to us individually. We share speeches with our friends, post quotes on our Facebook walls and tattoo lyrics and verses on our bodies.
But as the world we live in changes, we must begin to recognize the importance of evolving from a well-read people into a generation of well-written and well-spoken individuals. The advantage in all crises goes to the person who can persuade a group of individuals to think as a whole. Such a person wields a weapon of their own making; rhetoric.
Rhetoric is the art of persuasive speaking. It is more than the presentation of intellectual facts and reason; it injects an audience with not only acceptance, but the desire and decision to act.
Very few people are trained in rhetoric. The course is usually included as one small aspect of an entire major at the university level, and it’s hardly ever included in secondary school curriculum.
Colorado State University-Pueblo, however, has recognized the importance of this neglected subject and has introduced a communication and rhetoric minor.
The program includes 18 credit hours and is designed for students interested in developing effective written and verbal skills.
Dr. Yvonne Montoya, the program director, said the minor is “a program that promotes an understanding of interpersonal, organizational, rhetorical and intercultural communication.”
The rhetoric minor is brand new this semester but already has four students enrolled. Two of the four are set to graduate next spring, and both of them are mass communications majors.
Jeremy Valdez is one of those two students. He is excited about the new minor and the many opportunities and advantages it can create. Valdez urges students of every major to consider communication and rhetoric as a minor.
“Communication is important in any professional environment,” Valdez said.
To go beyond communication and study the art of persuasion and eloquence is even more important. One could argue that this new minor would be an excellent addition to any major on campus.
It’s an amazing feeling to be moved to action by a meaningful quote or speech. It could be even more amazing to actually create a persuasive, perhaps life-changing sequence of words.
These skills can be found within the communication and rhetoric minor. Courses in the minor are listed in the online catalog under COMR. Anyone interested in more information should contact their adviser.