A group of students within the San Mateo Community College District, in California, have released a list of demands, including one that would require all students to complete at least six credits of Diversity Studies courses in order to graduate — or even to transfer.
“At least 6 credits of Diversity Studies courses must be completed in order to be able to receive a degree or certificate or transfer to UC/Private College/CSU,” states a subsection of “Demand 5” on a list of 12 student demands.
Now, requiring a certain number of credits in a certain discipline in order to earn a degree or certificate from a specific university is not anything new, and neither is making one of those requirements diversity-related. But requiring students to complete a certain number of credits in a discipline before they can transfer to another college — even a private college — is nothing short of ridiculous. The list’s cover letter specifies that the students “expect nothing less than what is presented,” but just how the hell do they expect the school to enforce that? Lock the students who haven’t taken the courses in a basement so they can’t apply to even a private California college before complying?
Unfortunately, a lack of pragmatism in their “demands” is a common pattern. For example, these students are also demanding that the school have “school-sponsored cultural awareness and diversity celebration events for marginalized communities” and that “these must be places for people to learn and understand others for who they are.” Sounds nice, sure, but anyone who has ever been an actual human being knows that getting other people to understand who you really are is not exactly something that can be institutionally mandated. Oh, and there’s also the fact that these students are requiring both “more funding for ethnic studies professors, programs, and curricular development” and that the “district strive for free community college . . . that all three colleges be free and accessible with the understanding that education is a right for the residents of San Mateo County.” It may sound like a nice idea, however, considering that the state’s college-education system is already having problems with funding, demanding both more spending and free tuition is about as tone-deaf as it gets.
#related#These students may insist that they have a real need for these things — and others, including mandatory “cultural fluency and microaggression workshops each semester” (yes, multiple workshops every semester) for all professors and people who work with students — and they may feel, as they say, that “this need has been exacerbated due to the 2016 presidential election.” But the fact is, their list is severely lacking in actual, practical suggestions for how their demands might realistically be made possible. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it seems almost as if they think that all they have to do to solve problems is whine and expect other people to solve them.
This story was previously reported on in an article on Campus Reform.