University Voting on Proposed Diversity Requirement

An effort lasting years by UW Seattle’s Student Diversity Coalition (SDC) came to a head recently as Faculty Senate passed a resolution that supports a proposed diversity requirement for students. While the decision- which will be in the form of a faculty wide vote- is being made at UW Seattle, it would affect its sister campuses, Bothell and Tacoma.

The diversity requirement would consist of a three credit coursework that would be counted toward Area of Knowledge requirements. It wouldn’t add to the total amount of credits needed to graduate. However, if only five percent of the faculty votes against the requirement, it will go back to the Faculty Senate for amendments or rejection. The courses would focus on a constructed identity with the goal of addressing prejudice and inequality in in today’s world.

ASUW director of diversity efforts Jennifer Gibbons joined with SDC to create the requirement and introduce it to faculty.

“I think this [decision] is really going to give us the momentum we need,” Gibbons told The Daily, adding that it was gratifying “especially having this really big audience to reach out to students and start talking to students, to all three campuses, and get all the Huskies together in the conversation.”

Senior Dulce Gutiérrez, who is involved with SDC, spoke at a UW Seattle community showcase. She said that the institution is in need of the requirement because many people are ignorant of other communities.

Gutierrez told The Daily, “This diversity requirement is not only for white people, it’s just for everybody to learn about privilege, power, oppression, identity, and to learn how all of those things are linked up together and how all those things affect every single one of us.”