Student fees help fund 'Diversity Leadership Certificate'

Toni Airaksinen
New York Senior Campus Correspondent

  • The University of New England is offering students a “Diversity Leadership Certificate” for completing a 20-hour, year-long “social justice” program funded by mandatory student fees.
  • Students can earn credit by attending events such as a "Safe Space Workshop," and must spend at least one day during the year doing volunteer work.
  • Students at the University of New England can earn a “Diversity Leadership Certificate” for completing a 20-hour, year-long “social justice” program funded by student fees.

    The Certificate, offered through the UNE Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, can be earned by students who complete the program’s requirements, including interactive workshops on “power and privilege” and an online course on “culture and identity.”

    Students will learn "cultural humility and sensitivity."   

    [RELATED: University to offer ‘Social Justice Advocacy’ certificate]

    Students will also be required to attend a “minimum of five on-campus approved events” related to social justice, such as a lecture hosted by the school’s Diversity Lecture Series, or one of the school’s Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration events.

    One possible way to earn credit is by attending a “Safe Space Workshop” to combat “anti-LGBTQ bias,” which was facilitated by the school’s Director of Intercultural Student Engagement, Richard Anderson-Martinez.

    By attending these events, the school promises that students will learn “cultural humility and sensitivity,” develop a working knowledge of “social injustices,” and discover ways to critique their own “personal assumptions.”

    While the program includes an element of community service, students are only required to take one day out of the year to volunteer with no minimum time requirement.

    [RELATED: College offers free certification in ‘social justice work’]

    Sponsorship for the program comes from the UNE Student Government, which is funded through an annual $1,220 student fee, according the school’s tuition policy. The fee, which amounts to $4,480 over the course of four years, is mandatory and cannot be waived.

    The University of New England did not immediately return Campus Reform’s request for comment.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    New York Senior Campus Correspondent
    Toni Airaksinen is a New York Campus Correspondent, where she reports on free speech issues and social justice research. She is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. She is also a columnist for PJ Media, and formerly held a post with USA TODAY College, The Columbia Spectator, and Quillette.
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