USC Students Demand Mandatory Diversity Classes

USC Trojan Protest (Neon Tommy / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
(Neon Tommy / Flickr / CC / Cropped)

On Tuesday, the USC Student Government (USG) is slated to vote on a resolution that will seek to “improve the diversity, equity, and inclusion climate on campus” and asks for $100 million to go towards a scholarship fund to help “underrepresented” groups be better recognized.

The resolution was introduced this past Monday after USG President Rini Sampath made national headlines when a  fraternity member allegedly called her an “Indian piece of shit” and hurled a drink at her. 

The young man was evicted from the fraternity house, and Sampath filed a federal discrimination complaint against him. However, she and fellow USG members decided the punishment was not enough for the crime, and are now seeking a resolution that will seek the creation of diversity classes on queer and race theory, mandatory diversity training courses for students and faculty, and hiring a new dean of diversity.

Vice President of USC’s graduate student government Christina Gutierrez recently told the Los Angeles Timeswhat happened to Rini has gotten a lot of attention but these incidents happen far too frequently on an ongoing basis.”

The resolution states that USC has “failed to produce action plans to address the issues of bias and discrimination.” 

Breitbart News spoke with several students and even parents on Thursday to gauge their reactions to the upcoming vote on Tuesday’s resolution.

A male engineering student in his junior year who asked not to be named said he does not agree with the “Diversity Climate Resolution,” suggesting “it drives a wedge between people of different races.” He said he thinks the best thing to do is “punish the people who do stupid things.”

While he “does not condone racism in any way, shape or form,” he said he believes passing this resolution “is not the way to go about fixing it.”

Sal, a freshman who is studying Business Administration, called the incident “isolated” and said it “is not representative of any fraternity culture on USC’s campus. I wouldn’t go ahead and say they are all racist. There is no racist culture on the row to my knowledge.” He said he does not believe there is a culture of racism on the USC campus in general. “I think we’re pretty progressive, understanding society. That sounds like a lot of money for one stupid, drunk kid’s mistake.”

It remains to be determined whether the $100 million scholarship fund will come from should the resolution pass. Students on campus have also expressed concerns that the resolution will only add to raising annual tuition prices in order to fund the new programs, which require new administrators and counsellors.

Graduate chemical engineering student Brian Moore said he is OK with the resolution as long as the $100 million is not coming from student tuition. “I don’t think many people know about it,” which he said makes it “unfair.”

Conversely, a female student named Lara who identifies as Armenian-American said she thinks Tuesday’s vote “is a good step. It gets people talking about [social and racial issues] it and it’s really sad that it happened in the first place. I think sitting back and doing nothing will always perpetuate racism.”

When asked if she has witnessed any sort of racism on campus, she said she has not, adding that she’s personally “never really felt in danger or anything.”

Victoria Patterson, who is a senior, said “when you have a university where people are coming from all over the country and world, and everyone has different perspectives and was raised differently, we’re not all going to be in sync and have the same opinions about things like that. So having classes allocated toward that could help.”

When asked if having classes allocated towards “racial sensitivity” would prevent people from getting drunk and saying stupid things, she said “unfortunately, not. I think that just happens. There’s always going to be that person.”

When pressed further, she said she believes it will be a “hard to get that funding and persuade people for it. You would need a lot more instances and evidence, and things like that, I would think,” she said.

Breitbart News also spoke with the parents of a senior at USC. Bill and Mary called the incident “isolated” and referred to the former fraternity brother as “an idiot.”

Bill, who is a USC alumnus, added: “I wouldn’t want the tuition to be spent on that. The school has not had many racial issues. It’s a small, small problem… Tuition would be better spent for education or improving the campus itself.”

Mary blamed the incidents that have rocked the nation lately on political correctness. She said she and her husband are “children of the Sixties,” noting that while they’ve seen a big change in the world “for the better,” since President Barack Obama has taken office, race relations and social issues have taken a turn for the worse.

“We had hoped that he would show that, regardless of your skin color, you can make it to any position in the nation,” Mary said. “From the protests back east in Baltimore to the incidents across the world, to us apologizing to the nation, has divided us and made us weaker. And that’s the leadership in Washington,” Bill said.

“Nowadays, with this political correctness, you have to treat people a certain way because of their skin or their gender or their whatever,” Mary concluded. “Just be respectful.”

A new study by the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale found that college students support speech codes on campus, 51% to 36%.

Photo: file

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


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