Not content to be outdone by its rivals at the University of Michigan, members of the Michigan State University student government are debating whether to similarly require all university students to take a diversity class.
MSU’s version would be a one-credit class taken by all incoming freshman.
The UM student government is weighing a similar proposal to expand the race and ethnicity curriculum requirement to all university colleges. (RELATED: Activists at U-M trying to force engineering students to study race and ethnicity)
James Conwell, a member of the Associated Students of MSU, told The State News that some incoming freshman are just unprepared for college life, having never encountered “diverse people or things.”
“Some freshmen really adapt well and find new ways to experience new cultures,” said Conwell in a statement. “Some simply do not. [Freshmen] come from all walks of life… they haven’t been necessarily exposed to ideas, diverse people or things.”
The diversity requirement relates to a new initiative put on by the LGBT Resource Center that asks students to pledge to be respectful of others.
“The initiative is to encourage students to challenge demeaning behaviors towards students of different cultures and backgrounds,” wrote The State News.
Alternative ideas discussed at the student government meeting included simply requiring students to attend workshops on diversity, rather than pay for an entire class.
The James Madison College at MSU forces its students to participate in an entire day of diversity activities, and could serve as a model for university-wide diversity training.