The State University of New York (SUNY) system has made a racial equity course mandatory for graduation at all of its 64 campuses. One political science professor responded, “This is nuts.” The professor added, “Unfortunately, SUNY responded to the mob.”
The 64-campus SUNY college system is informing incoming freshmen students at all of its colleges that they will be required to complete a “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice” (DEISJ) course in order to earn their degrees.
The new course will “describe the historical and contemporary societal factors that shape the development of individual and group identity involving race, class, and gender,” according to SUNY documents.
It will also “analyze the role that complex networks of social structures and systems play in the creation and perpetuation of the dynamics of power, privilege, oppression, and opportunity,” and “apply the principles of rights, access, equity, and autonomous participation to past, current, or future social justice action.”
Nicholas Giordano, a political science professor at SUNY’s Suffolk Community College, told the New York Post, “This is nuts.”
“SUNY is one of the best university systems in the country. Why are they doing this?” Giordano added. “DEISJ is a cultural movement, not based on academics. Unfortunately, SUNY responded to the mob.”
Giordano went on to say that the new DEISJ course aims to portray the United States as “inherently racist” and attempts to undermine the American identity that unifies all citizens by “creating groups and pitting them against each other.”
“To tell [minority students] they can’t compete with a white person is insulting and racist,” he said, adding that the curriculum seeks to define students “by the color of their skin.”
SUNY Chancellor John King defended the new DEISJ course, claiming it simply recognizes and celebrates diversity, and fosters “respectful dialogue and debate.”
“Exposure to, and understanding of, diversity is essential to success in our modern society and economy,” he said. “As a leader in preparing the future workforce and citizenry, SUNY is committed to embedding diversity into the foundation of all it does — from academics to campus life and everything in between.”
Not only will students be forced to complete the new DEISJ course in order to graduate, but the content will also be embedded in other classes and programs, and “most campuses will need to make significant changes to existing curriculum to have courses that fulfill the DEISJ learning outcomes,” the document states.