New Diversity G.E. Approved for Fall

    Rebekah Hwang and Andrew Oh/UCSD Guardian

    All six colleges now have a one-quarter, four-unit diversity GE requirement, effective Fall Quarter 2011 for incoming freshmen and Fall Quarter 2013 for transfer students.

    Currently, only Muir, Revelle, Roosevelt, Warren and Marshall have cultural diversity requirements. Many current cultural diversity GEs — such as ETHN 1B (Introduction to Ethnic Studies), CGS 2B (Introduction to Critical Gender Studies) and POLI 102E (Urban Politics) are likely to be included on the list of approved classes for the new requirement.

    This means most incoming students will not have to worry about an increased course load. Current students will not be affected.

    According to the proposal, qualified courses will target issues such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality and class, with particular focus on African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Pacific Islanders and those of other cultures.

    On March 1, the Representative Assembly of the San Diego Division of Academic Senate, which sets graduation requirements and determines admission requirements, approved the new requirement.

    Chancellor Marye Anne Fox also approved of the effort at improving campus climate following last year’s racially themed “Compton Cookout” party.

    According to Academic Senate Chair Frank Powell, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Suresh Subramani and the council of provosts established an advisory committee last year to create a course or training program that promotes cultural sensitivity.

    The Committee on Educational Policy will create a group to review existing courses and proposals for new courses to determine whether they satisfy the requirement. According to Powell, the review will be complete before Fall Quarter 2011.

    Departments and faculty are currently designing new courses for the CEP to review and approve. CEP is also reviewing existing courses that will be included in the course catalog for next year’s incoming students.

    “Many of our students, but not all of our students, will already have satisfied this requirement,” Powell said. “So if you have two requirements and this course satisfies both of those requirements, then you only have to take the course once to satisfy both.”

    According to Powell, other existing courses that are likely to satisfy the requirement include ANTH 23 (Debating Multiculturalism), HILD 7A and 7C (Race and Ethnicity in the United States) and LTAF 27 (African-American Literature). In addition, students can also take LTEN 28 (Introduction to Asian-American Literature) and POLI 110EC (American Political Thought: Contemporary Debates).

    A.S. Council has been supportive of the requirement, passing a resolution in support of the proposal. During voting, two members abstained and two opposed.

    “From what I sense, the general student body sees this as a small, but crucial, step toward fighting ignorance and creating a more informed and educated campus community,” A.S. President Wafa Ben Hassine said.

    The new requirement has generally garnered a positive response from students.

    “People need to be exposed to diversity because they will be exposed to it in the real professional world,” Muir College sophomore Anisha Mocherla said. “Taking classes at UCSD will better prepare you for it.”

    Other students felt that more needs to be done.

    “I think it’ll be interesting to learn about the different ways that cultural diversity is perceived, but I’m not sure how exactly it’ll influence the student body,” Muir College sophomore Diana Lu said. “I feel that classes might teach you the ideas, but cultural diversity should be more of an interactive learning experience.”

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