At Michigan State University, Powers That Be are eyeing a school-wide revamp.
Via its “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Report and Plan” document, a wealth of changes are prescribed.
As reported by Lansing State Journal, a 33-member committee created the 77-page offering, which forces different “voices and communities (together) at the table at the same time.”
So explains Luis Alonzo Garcia, co-chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Steering Committee and director of MSU’s Migrant Student Services.
As stated by Luis, “[T]here are some areas that clearly have room for improvement…”
Hence, the plan commissions diversity hiring toolkits aligned with MSU’s Affirmative Action Plan.
Speaking of staff, they’ll be required to undergo regular DEI training.
A fund will be established for equity and justice research, conducted by faculty.
Also outlined is more aggressive “recruitment, retention and advancement rates of diverse students, faculty and staff.”
“Those who are already doing the work of DEI,” the plan states, “should be recognized, compensated and honored.”
Among vendors and suppliers, the college will prefer contracts with individuals of certain identities:
- Increase supplier diversity certifications to women, minority-owned, veteran, disabled, LGBTQIA+ and Michigan-based enterprises
And they’ll be checking up to make sure:
- Implement a vetting process for suppliers who report being a certified diverse supplier • Improve tracking of data related to diverse vendors, suppliers and contractors, including review of employee diversity data for public companies
Concerning the student body, efforts will be made to ensure it’s “diverse.”
Among the methods:
- Expand funding for scholarships and other mechanisms to further diversify and support the undergraduate population
- Expand funding for University Fellowships and Academic Achievement Graduate Assistantships and other mechanisms to further diversify and support the graduate student population
- Strengthen student support services and efforts offered by identity-focused units within Student Affairs and Services that play a critical role in retaining students from historically underrepresented populations
Additionally at issue: the curriculum.
Back to Luis:
“Curriculum falls under the responsibility of the faculty. We discuss the importance of working with academic governance to create long-range change at the institution. The goal is to expand curriculum broader than the courses that are already offered.”
According to the State Journal, Luis “said MSU has faculty with experience developing curriculum through a diversity lens who haven’t been asked to do so in their own colleges. Using them as resources will be instrumental in restructuring MSU’s curriculum…”
The proposed changes come after 18 months of work, including “listening sessions.”
The enormous endeavor was spawned by occurrences on campus.
Here’s The College Fix with more:
In October 2019, a Black student found what appeared to be a toilet paper noose taped to her door in Bryan Hall.”
However the toilet paper noose incident has been debunked as a Halloween prank.
The Journal also cites a public relations professor’s 2019 social media survey, which had asked students their opinions about edgy online comments, as another of the racist incidents that promoted the framework’s development.
The third allegedly racist incident the Journal cites was actually Christmas tree ornaments of black public figures that caused alarm because the way they were hung reminded people of lynchings.
As assured by MSU spokesperson Don Olsen, no one would be harmed if the recommendations were put into effect:
“Nobody is harmed by learning from each other’s backgrounds and experiences. It creates a more well-rounded person and somebody who is prepared to go out into the world.”
As for preparing young adults for the world, does an equity-infused curriculum accomplish such?
“Equity” is not a naturally-occurring phenomenon.
Life has often been compared to sports, and sports are not at all equitable.
If they were, they wouldn’t be interesting.
The same might be said of life.
In order for life to be equitable — rather than equal in terms of opportunity — controlling forces must necessarily and heavily assert themselves.
Examples could be schools, employers, and the government.
As for school, it — like sports — cannot be equitable…unless everyone is granted the same grades and honors.
Perhaps we’re not far from that being the case.
There used to be a term used in school: “Grades Earned.”
In equity, nothing is earned. “Granted” becomes the only means of acquirement.
Not only does that remove an individual’s burden; it also erases authority over one’s destiny.
That determination falls into the hands of those in charge.
And for now, at MSU, those hands are hoping for a major improvement — 77 life-changing pages’ worth.
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