Last week, the university’s board of trustees voted to approve the new general education requirements. They will go into effect at the start of the 2023-2024 academic year.
“This action, by the CSU and for the CSU, lifts Ethnic Studies to a place of prominence in our curriculum, connects it with the voices and perspectives of other historically oppressed groups, and advances the field by applying the lens of social justice,” CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White said in a statement.
“It will empower our students to meet this moment in our nation’s history, giving them the knowledge, broad perspectives and skills needed to solve society’s most pressing problems,” he continued. “And it will further strengthen the value of a CSU degree.”
The outlet reports that undergraduates are required to “complete a three-credit, lower division course” on social justice or ethnic studies. Students can also take a course on “one of the four racial groups that comprise ethnic studies, or by taking a course on other groups who have been oppressed, such as Jews, Muslims and LGBTQ people.”
Some members of the board of trustees voted against the plan. They believe that the new requirements were created without advice from the ethnic studies facility.
The California Faculty Association (CFA) also opposed the new course requirements. “CFA is severely disappointed in today’s decision by the CSU Board of Trustees to move forward with a diluted Ethnic Studies and Social Justice course requirement,” the organization said in a statement.
“How the board can look at anyone with a straight face and say that an Ethnic Studies requirement can be fulfilled without ever having to take a course in Ethnic Studies is beyond believable,” the statement continued.