Diversity category to stay in place for fall semester

The diversity category that the College of Arts and Sciences decided to implement into their college core will continue as planned after a vote that was taken on Friday, Feb. 23 at an Arts and Sciences faculty meeting.

The Setonian previously reported that the Core Curriculum Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences voted on a diversity category being added to their college core just last year. The requirement will be instituted starting in the fall 2018 semester and will apply to the Class of 2022 on.

Adrian Chavez/Staff Photographer A final decision was made about the content of the diversity category on Feb. 23.

It is important to note that whether or not the diversity requirement would be added was not in question, but rather the discussion in the college was seeking clarification of this requirement in order to implement it. This discussion was brought into question by a motion filed by a faculty member.

Dr. Wyatt Rory Murphy, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, filed the motion.

“As an individual, I did submit to the College Executive Committee a motion describing a broader approach to a diversity requirement which included the approach confirmed by the College,” he said.

Murphy described the approach to the requirement he outlined in his motion.

“I thought, as did other members of the faculty, that cultural diversity using more inclusive approaches should be added to the power relations approach,” he said. “Most of our peer institutions have a diversity requirement that includes cultural diversity.”

In the end, the original plan for the diversity requirement was kept in place.

Dr. Karen Gevirtz, professor of English and co-director of the Women and Gender Studies program, thinks that this diversity requirement is extremely important.

“Students need the skills to think critically about other people and the powers that they have in their lives and in their societies,” she said. “It is an obligation of this faculty to provide them with the skills to do that and think like this.”

Gevirtz added that she thinks Seton Hall students are perfectly capable of taking this diversity requirement.

“Students are savvy, they are smart and they look at the world around them,” she said. “If they are walking down the street and seeing lots of different types of people, discussing these people in the classroom is not that crazy.”

Peter Shoemaker, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said in an email that is pleased with the decision to incorporate the requirement into the core.

“I am extremely pleased that the College of Arts and Sciences has decided to integrate a diversity requirement into its core,” Shoemaker said. “This is a small, but important step toward serving the needs of our diverse student body and our surrounding community.”

Isabel Soisson can be reached at isabel.soisson@student.shu.edu.