Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Williams rethinks its “diversity” requirement


According to this story Williams College officials are changing the school’s “diversity” requirement.


A history prof is quoted as saying that the old requirement grew out of “nice liberal white guilt” but came to be seen as a joke. The chairman of the Committee on Education Policy said that the school wanted to get away from just learning some facts about another group to learning about other people’s ideas and approach to life.


Don’t students at Williams already know that people think differently and may have different approaches to life? If they take a course that examines people in, say, the Amazon rainforest, will they really learn that group’s thinking? People don’t think as a group and you’ll probably find lots of different beliefs and views even in the same tribe.


In making such courses a requirement, the Williams administration is saying that they think that they are very important to the students; more important than courses that are optional. But is that true?  Not to say that such studies have no benefit at all, but why put them up on a pedestal? I think the answer is still “nice liberal white guilt.”


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