Monday, April 6

UCLA College faculty approves diversity requirement proposal

UCLA faculty in the College of Letters and Science approved a diversity requirement proposal Friday afternoon.

In a 332-303 vote, faculty decided to support the requirement, which would have students take a course about inequalities based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion, among other factors. Students would be able to fulfill the requirement through a general education course, an elective or upper division course.

UCLA College faculty began talks about a diversity requirement more than 25 years ago. Since then, official proposals for a requirement have failed twice – once in 2004 and again in 2012.

About 46 percent of eligible faculty members voted this week, compared to about 30 percent in 2012 and about 20 percent in 2004.

The proposal still needs to pass through other committees before it is implemented. The Undergraduate Students Association Council must formally support the requirement and then pass it on to the Committee of Rules and Jurisdiction.

Allyson Bach, USAC academic affairs commissioner, said she plans to draft a resolution to bring to council to show support for the proposal.

“It will show the Academic Senate what undergraduate students want in the proposal,” Bach said.

The Committee of Rules and Jurisdiction would then need to approve the plan to officially add it to UCLA’s curriculum. If the requirement proposal passes through those steps, the Legislative Assembly, a governing body on campus, will need to adopt the proposed requirement at their Nov. 20 meeting.

Still, some students and faculty said they think getting faculty on board was the biggest challenge the proposal could face.

“The real hurdle was getting it though (the College Faculty.) It will be easier to get through the smaller committees,” said Jazz Kiang, third-year Asian American studies student who sat on the committee that created the requirement.

According to estimates, the diversity requirement may cost UCLA hundreds of thousands of dollars in the its first few years and more in the future. The funds will go toward developing new courses, training more teaching assistants and restructuring existing classes.

The new requirement would apply to all first-year students in the College of Letters and Science enrolling in 2015 and all transfers beginning in 2017.

Compiled by Kendal Mitchell, Bruin staff.

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.