Chicago Students Demand ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ Grad Requirement

Barb Wire

By Mitchell Gunter

A University of Chicago student group has issued a series of more than 50 demands, which include calls for a mandatory “Diversity and Inclusion” graduation requirement.

UChicago United, the group behind the demands, describes itself as “a coalition of multicultural student organizations formed to make the University of Chicago campus more inclusive for students of marginalized backgrounds and identities,” according to its Facebook page.

 The group claims that the university “has consistently failed to meet the needs of its marginalized students,” and is thus “taking action to build accessible campus resources and measures of accountability to support the creation of an environment that minority students are able to lay claim to as their own.”

The group has been heavily involved in protesting a professor’s decision to invite Steve Bannon to campus, saying it is “currently engaged in a campaign to make UChicago a truly anti-racist, inclusive campus.”

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“We encourage you to take a look at our demands,” the group’s post concludes, directing readers to a petition and encouraging them to sign.

In total, 51 demands are listed within the petition and endorsed by seven student organizations that are insisting the university establish a “Diversity and Inclusion” graduation requirement. The requirement would start with the class of 2022 and be primarily focused on “US-centric structural oppression, such as race, gender, and sexuality.”

Other demands include calls for a university-funded “Black House,” “Latinx House,” and “Asian House” independent of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the creation of a “Race and Ethnic Studies Department,” and the hiring of “more faculty of color.”

Additionally, the demands include the creation of a “pre-orientation program specifically for incoming students of color,” and “a revitalization of the Bias Response Team” that would involve “marginalized student representation.”

In a section devoted to demands from the Organization of Black Students, students call for an “opt-in Black Housing Option for Black students in College Housing,” and mandatory housing-staff training for instances of “racial bias, discrimination, or prejudice.”

The PanAsia Solidarity Coalition demands “a counselor specifically for racial counseling,” while MEChA de UChicago asks that the university “pursue disciplinary actions towards all individuals guilty of racist, hateful, and discriminatory conduct.”

At the time of publication, more than 180 students had signed their names in support of the demands.

Campus Reform reached out to UChicago United for comment on the matter, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @rMitchellGunter

First published at Campus Reform

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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