It’s time to speak up

From the beginning of the semester a debate over a proposed required class to teach students to appreciate multiculturalism has been raging. It all started with Student Association President Abe Andrzejewski’s proposal to add a new multiculturalism course as a requirement for graduating from NIU.

Although the intentions are well placed and the need is indeed a real one for many people, a multiculturalism class requirement would be wrong.

First, it is not in the interest of NIU to take on the responsibility of “re-educating” the entire student body to be politically correct and culturally aware. Universities cannot dictate to students what they should think, they can only allow students to be exposed to different issues. Students then form their own opinions based on the information they receive through education.

Second, if the class is going to be required then an acceptable alternative might be to have it through the individual colleges. The students could be given the choice of taking the class among a group of other required electives. At least the class would then be geared toward a student’s major.

Finally, not giving students the choice to take the class is creating an environment where students will feel as though their arms are being twisted. This will lead to poor attitudes in the classroom and might even create hostility toward the issues the class is attempting to shed light on.

On Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Heritage Room of the Holmes Student Center, the SA is providing students with the opportunity to ask questions about its new proposed multiculturalism class.

The editorial board encourages students to partake in this forum. As students of this university, it is imperative that you go and give the SA your opinion, voice concerns, raise issues and give advice.

The SA has been direct and honest about how it thinks and feels on this topic. Now it is the students’ chance to be direct and honest with the people who represent them to the administration.