Wednesday, July 24

Bruin Republicans protest diversity requirement proposal


First-year history student Drake Everlove was one of the students to participate in the protest Wednesday. (Angie Wang/Daily Bruin senior staff)

First-year history student Drake Everlove was one of the students to participate in the protest Wednesday. (Angie Wang/Daily Bruin senior staff)


About 10 members of Bruin Republicans led a protest on campus Wednesday afternoon calling for students to urge their professors to vote against a proposed diversity requirement.

Around 3,600 professors from all schools will be able to cast their votes on the requirement proposal starting in late February. The new vote comes after a group of professors and administrators petitioned in December for Academic Senate-wide faculty to participate in the decision. In late October, the UCLA College of Letters and Science faculty passed the requirement in a 332-303 vote, and the Academic Senate approved the measure 85-18 in mid-November.

Bruin Republicans members also recently sent emails to several professors to try to encourage them to vote against the requirement, said Jacob Kohlhepp, external vice president of the club and a third-year political science student.

The requirement would have students take one diversity-related class about inequalities based on factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion. New students in fall 2015 and transfer students starting in 2017 would be required to fill the requirement through one of their General Education courses, electives or major or minor courses. The requirement would not necessarily increase students’ time to completion.

Wednesday’s rally was the first public event that students have held against the requirement. Previously, some students have tried to campaign for the diversity requirement to pass.

Bruin Republicans members said at the protest Wednesday that they think the diversity requirement would lead to less academic freedom and more strain on students’ schedules.

Kohlhepp said he thinks diversity-related classes should be encouraged but not required by the school because he thinks there will be competition for enrollment in the offered courses.

“It makes choices very specific, and a lot of people will not be able to get into these classes,” he said.

Other protesters said they think UCLA should not have a requirement that would make students take a course they may not be interested in.

“We do value diversity, but we do not believe the school should require it,” said Alex Rhim, Bruin Republicans internal vice president and a second-year political science student.

Some students who walked past the protest said they had mixed opinions about Bruin Republicans’ stance.

“I think it’s weird that within a school of diversity, people are protesting against diversity,” said Jenna Wang, a second-year world arts and cultures student who supports the requirement. “I think we should be happy that we have the opportunity for us to recognize the gift that we do have diversity in our school.”

Cassandra Cross, a fourth-year political science and international development studies student, said she thinks the requirement would help combat racial tensions on campus.

“I feel strongly pro-diversity, and I think that this new requirement would be helpful for the diversity climate here in this school,” Cross said.

Other students said they agree with Bruin Republicans and think the requirement could burden students who already have to fill other course requirements at UCLA.

“I feel like we have enough General Education requirements already,” said April Zebarjad, a third-year economics student.

Professors are set to vote on the requirement proposal online from Feb. 25 to March 10.

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News senior staff

Roberto Luna Jr. is currently a senior staffer covering Westwood, crime and transportation. He was previously an assistant News editor from 2015-2016 and a News contributor from 2014-2015.


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  • henryviii

    guess we need something to protest.

    “It makes choices very specific, and a lot of people will not be able to get into these classes,” he said.

    Other protesters said they think UCLA should not have a requirement
    that would make students take a course they may not be interested in.”

    well, as an engineer, i had to take english, and history, and…

    and i couldn’t always get into the classes i wanted.

    what’s the issue again?

    • Doug

      How would you feel if the school required you to take a class teaching the tenets of Old Testament morality? How is that different from requiring you to take a class teaching the modern secular religion of equality?

      • henryviii

        you’re really arguing against learning about equality and diversity? it’s a false analogy – introducing diversity is a far cry from forcing me to believe something that has no basis in fact.

        • Doug

          I guess a class that looked at social equality as a subject of academic inquiry, that would be interesting. What do people mean by equality? How do they pursue it? What are the arguments against it? etc. But these classes aren’t interested in scholarly analysis. They are for the purpose of indoctrinating students in the One True Faith of Modern Progressivism. That’s why I object.

          • henryviii

            all animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others. who says you, for example, are any better than, for example, me, or the next guy, or the next woman, or whomever? how do you justify in your mind that it’s ok to discriminate against people for any reason? it’s not progressivism – it’s humanity.

  • hmkufan5

    I’m surprised and disappointed that a history major is protesting against this requirement.

  • Wibbins

    These courses are nothing more than white bashing

  • Kendi Kim

    I agree with the Bruin Republicans. Diversity should be authentic, not coerced. Otherwise, it’s only a formality, and that just creates more tension – usually, hidden tension. Justice is about authenticity, not coercion. If we want justice, then we will want authentic diversity, not coerced diversity. There must be natural benefits to being in a diversity. The better way is to make those benefits understandable to more people, rather than to coerce the conclusion that diversity is necessary and morally better.