Monday, December 27, 2004

Diversity credits as a threat 

Our students are required at SCSU to take nine hours (out of 120 required for graduation) from a set of courses labeled "diversity" credits. We have several nice study abroad programs, including a popular one at Alnwick in England. Faculty teaching in the program think that studying abroad should count as part of one's cultural diversity and that they should get diversity credits. The diversity warriors, however, don't believe this is the proper understanding of diversity.

During the debate we had on the discussion list last week about Christmas decorations, the current director of the program -- a position which rotates each year and this year even between the semesters -- reacted to the post supporting the no-decorations position with a simple "Bah, Humbug!" Miss Median, who can't help putting her foot in it even from Arizona, responded with a threat.

What does this mean? The SCSU British Studies Program has recently claimed that students doing studies abroad under their auspices ... should receive "diversity" credits for at least one course (the original request was to eliminate all three (9 credits) MGM requirements).

Does the director of this program understand or not understand the meaning of valuing diversity? --and if not, I'm wondering how much cross-cultural education that merits such credits students participating in study abroad in Britain do acquire.

Power really goes to some people's heads, doesn't it! If you do not agree with her view of Christmas decorations, you must not ever teach diversity in the way she approves, so your students must be required to undergo remediation in a manner of her choosing.

Here's how she chooses.