After a number of failed attempts, the faculty of the UCLA College of Letters and Arts finally got their wish. Future undergraduates will be required to take a diversity class that will encompass a wide array of courses (ethnic, cultural, religious, or gender identity) that cover the scope of the subject in ways that will hopefully prove to be enduring.
It was a close call with the College winning by a narrow margin – 332 to 303 votes but the victory was a long time coming and will guarantee that students in the fall 2015 academic slot will be adequately initiated as well as new transfer students in 2017.
Resistance to the proposal stemmed from the concern that students were already having a challenging time dealing with their current coursework. There were also budgetary issues, which the university has been battling and continues to do so. Opponents were not convinced that adding an option for diversity classes would pay off or produce favorable results.
But UCLA Chancellor Gene Block was determined to see the process through due to the potential impact it could have on budding recipients who will eventually join the workforce in a world that is blatantly multi-cultural. He explained further in a statement highlighting his contentment with the decision, “A diversity-related course requirement for UCLA College undergraduates is an important component of our commitment to expose students to beliefs and backgrounds other than their own.”
The courses will be offered by a healthy number of departments including sociology and statistics. Students will have the option to pick one course for the academic quarter.
This sounds like a step in the right direction and hopefully more educational institutions will follow suit.