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Cornell Adds ‘Diversity’ Courses to Graduation Requirements

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Cornell University has announced the addition of a “Diversity and Inclusion” course requirement for students that they must complete before graduation.

Cornell University announced this week that the school will be adding a “Diversity and Inclusion” course to the graduation requirements. The proposal for the new requirement was passed by a faculty vote on Tuesday. 182 faculty members voted in favor of the requirement, 90 voted against it, and 18 abstained. The changes are expected to be implemented for students enrolled in the fall of 2020.

Prof. Durba Ghosh, the Director of the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality program at Cornell University, said in a comment that she is excited about the new requirement.

“I think most students think of questions of diversity and inclusion as a part of their education at Cornell so I am glad this set of requirements validates what many students are already doing,” Ghosh said in a comment to the Cornell student newspaper. “This curriculum is a promising step toward affirming the college’s commitment to our motto, ‘any person … any study.’”

Students will be able to fill the requirement by taking an American Sign Language course. Mary Grace Hager, the student president of Cornell University Deaf Awareness Project, says that she is glad that more students will be taking the sign language course at Cornell.

“Taking such classes would also allow students to learn about Deaf culture, just as any other foreign language course at Cornell introduces a new culture,” Hager said in a comment. “Additionally, many students come to Cornell after having taken ASL classes in high school, but have no way to continue their ASL education here.”

Now, some are looking to isolate the faculty members that voted against the changes. Professor Tom Pepinsky of Cornell’s government department said that he is not sure why 90 faculty members voted against the new course requirement.

“It’s hard to know what lies behind the faculty who did not endorse the new curriculum,” Pepinsky said in a comment.

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