Campus Lovin’: Class examines family relationships

By By Jonathan Ng

By Jonathan Ng

U students can bring home-life into the classroom by taking a course on strengthening family relationships.

“The vast majority of persons are happiest on a daily basis and feel most fulfilled and valued when they live in the midst of stable, caring and enduring relationships with others,” said Don Herrin, a professor in family and consumer studies.

Herrin has been at the U for 24 years and teaches the Strengthening Homes and Families class every semester. He also teaches Fatherhood, Family Belief Systems and Family Violence in the department.

“There are many things that we learn to think and do in our culture…(that) need to be recognized and unlearned and then replaced with insights and practices that are known to contribute to strong, resilient, happy and successful families and relationships,” Herrin said.

The class focuses on several types of relationships in families, including cohabitation, divorce, remarriage and parent-child relationships.

“(The class is) about what kinds of structures are in place in society to help relationships succeed and what kind of family lives are appropriate for the relationships and how much your relationship will actually succeed,” said Kara Olsen, a student in the class and a senior in human development and family studies.

Jesse Greer, also a student in the class and a senior in human development and family studies, said he chose to take the class because he will be able to relate that information to his everyday life.

“We’ve discussed a family in detail and what the roles are of mother, father and their children are, so we go into detail of the relationships in the family,” Greer said.

“If anybody is interested in having a successful family, I think the class is really helpful because we talk about things that are important to families and ideas for a good family life,” Olsen said.

Herrin has offered the class (FCS 3630) since Fall Semester 2002. Although most students enrolled in the class are from majors in the social and behavioral sciences, the class fulfills a general education requirement in the Social and Behavioral Exploration area.

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