The Main Campus Executive Faculty voted today in favor of adding a diversity requirement to the core curriculum.
“The requirement passed with overwhelming support,” MCEF Chair Ian Gale, a professor of economics, wrote in an email to The Hoya.
Beginning with the Class of 2020, students from all four schools will be required to take two courses cross-listed under the category “Engaging Differences.” An estimated 240 courses will fulfill the requirement, with more accurate numbers to follow once departments finalize their syllabi. Students will not have to take additional courses to fulfill the requirement, which is satisfied through overlay courses.
According to Gale, the members of the MCEF discussed how the requirement would help students develop an understanding of different perspectives.
“The meaning of ‘non-Western perspectives’ was debated at length. Several faculty members and students offered their understanding of the term while others offered alternatives to the wording,” Gale wrote. “The debate was Georgetown at its best.”
The MCEF consists of 57 faculty members and two students, and the proposal needed at least 29 votes to pass. Gale was not able to provide the exact tally of votes at press time.
The requirement will need to be approved by the board of directors before it is instated.
LCAR member Khadija Khan (COL ’17) said that the vote is a victory for many students who have worked towards the approval of the requirement.
“Generations of students have been fighting for this movement. We are a part of history today,” Khan said. “This requirement means so much to so many students’ lives. We’ve been envisioning a better Georgetown for years, and this is a real step towards that vision.”
LCAR member Esther Owolabi (COL ’15) said that the requirement should serve to continue efforts in making Georgetown students more aware about issues related to diversity.
“After years of tireless student activism, I am proud of Georgetown for taking this monumental step to creating a more inclusive and aware community. This is big, but it is only the beginning,” Owolabi said.
Hoya Staff Writer Toby Hung contributed reporting.
Correction: An earlier version of this post stated the requirement would go into effect for the Class of 2019. It will begin with the Class of 2020. Additionally, more than 200 courses meet the overlay requirement, as opposed to the 80 initially cited, and the course category has been renamed “Engaging Differences” earlier in the academic year, as opposed to the name used earlier in the article, “Diversity, Power and Privilege.”
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