Diversity requirement progresses


Therest Arado (left), deputy director of the College of Law Library, speaks with Greg Long (right), University Council executive secretary, about new programs, such as the Human Diversity requirement, being discussed at NIU.

By Clarissa Hinshaw

DeKALB | The Human Diversity requirement was put in front of University Council members during a meeting 3 p.m. Wednesday.

University Council members focused on discussion of the bill, which would require all undergraduate students enrolled after fall 2017 to complete a course- or non-course-based action in compliance with human diversity. Non-course-based actions allow students to receive credit for completing an activity outside of the classroom. Students enrolled currently are exempt from the requirement.

“The proposal being put forth is our suggestion for how that will work,” said University Council Chair Greg Long. “Courses are being identified as being diversity courses, and there will also be a non-course option. Those experiences we worked out on an individual basis between the student and his or her department.”

Long said he was unsure what the specific credit requirements will be for each academic department.

Chief Diversity Officer Vernese Edghill-Walden described the diversity credit requirement in a proposal.

In order to fulfill the requirement, the diversity course must focus on gender, ability, race and ethnicity, citizenship, wealth and material resources, religion, age or sexual orientation, according to the proposal.

In addition, the diversity courses must address how privilege and oppression have affected people throughout history. Edghill-Walden said these ideas are still a work in progress and have not yet been approved.

Some students think these credits would be a good idea to help students understand diversity.

“NIU is definitely one of the least diverse universities I’ve seen,” said sophomore biochemistry major Zohra Sattar. “I’m sure if you have an outside [diversity credit], it’ll definitely make people a lot more understanding of diversity, and being able to work with diverse groups of people and personalities is a great skill that they’ll need throughout their career.”

The next University Council meeting is 3 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Holmes Student Center, Sky Room.