The proposal would add a DEI overlay to the essential competency and writing emphasis requirement without adding any additional credit hours. There will be a variety of courses to satisfy the requirement based on a student’s major.
The DEI subcommittee on curriculum will present its proposal to the Faculty Senate at 3:30 Thursday in the Student Government Chambers. The chambers are located on the third floor of the Brown-Lupton University Union.
Senior Hope Bentley is the Student Government Association (SGA) director of diversity and inclusion and sits on the DEI subcommittee for curriculum. She said that students have constantly brought up putting DEI in the core as a way to have needed discussion about the campus culture in a safe setting.
The measure was approved by SGA with 82 percent support last week but not without dissension. Some students questioned whether the classroom was the best place for students to learn about DEI, while others argued that TCU does not have the faculty expertise to teach it.
“Right now we’re saying, let’s just put something together and see how it goes,” said class of 2021 representative CJ Ervin. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but at the same time there are a lot of things being left out of that conversation that should be taken into account.”
Ervin, who voted against the resolution, said the university needs to focus on hiring a more experienced and diverse faculty.
“There’s a lot of attention that should be focused in other areas that in turn could enhance the development of the DEI process,” Ervin said.
AddRan College of Liberal Arts representative Cage Sawyers echoed Ervin’s concerns that SGA was supporting a resolution without actually knowing how it would be implemented.
“It just set a bad precedent,” said Sawyers. “Even though what she said was nice and pleasant, the bill didn’t contain that stuff.”
Sawyers voted for the resolution, but said that he would rather students have immersive experiences with diversity outside of the classroom setting.
“I think everyone would benefit from an immersive experience, and that is the voice I was advocating for,” Sawyer said. “Instead of a curriculum solution, it was an experience solution.”
Mikea Jackson, a first-year student who is a member of the TCU Justice Coalition, said that the course is necessary because it forces those who wouldn’t otherwise learn about diversity and inclusion to do so.
“You can say you can want us to have discussions, but we feel like a majority of the people who really need to understand this material aren’t going,” Jackson said.
Bentley said the goal is to have the course as a requirement in the core by the fall of 2020.