Groups renew efforts to add class

By Michael McCulloh

If several groups have their way, a cultural pluralism class to educate students about different ethnic groups and to reduce discrimination will be mandatory for all NIU students.

A cultural pluralism section should be added to the existing general education requirements, said Colleen Halliman, Student Association Academic Affairs Advisor.

“We’re going to survey various classes to see if they fit the requirement, and then a proposal will be submitted to the undergraduate coordinating counsel,” she said.

The purpose of the requirement is to alleiviate ignorance of other cultures that can lead to discrimination, Halliman said.

“Because NIU’s a diverse campus with different ethnicities and different backgrounds, it would benefit the students in that it would allow them to interact with others academically and socially,” she said.

Sociology Department Chairman Dian Sarub said he favors the requirement, but sees difficulty in actually accomplishing the task.

“If even one department offered the course it would require a huge number of that section and no department has the resources to do that,” he said.

Gender and Women’s studies also would be included as part of the cultural plurality requirement, Sarub said.

“If the area was mandatory, it would reach all students and not just a select few. I wish students would take some of these courses, but that’s an impossibility,” said Halliman.

Halliman said she plans to renew the push for the requirement after she forms a committee.