Ivy League class uses racial quota for enrollment

Cornell University offers a social justice education class that stipulates that each section will contain an equal number of students and teachers of each identity. That is, the same number of white students as students of color as male students as female students. 

The school has offered the course, EDUC 2610: Intergroup Dialogue, since 2012. Each section of the course “focuses on one specific identity, such as gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, race or disability.” The class boasts of training more than 200 students every semester. The university caps the enrollment of students of each identity at 50 percent, according to a school press release.

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“For example, a class that focuses on race will comprise equal numbers of white students and students of color, with one facilitator of color and one white facilitator,” the school explains, adding that classes are “balanced” racially or with regard to other protected statuses. 

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Cornell explicitly states that EDUC 2610 teachers, who are students, are hired based on characteristics such as race and sexuality. Students taking the class will learn through a “mix of storytelling and academic theories, [which] not only challenges deeply entrenched views, but also collectively reshapes one’s understanding of social identities, equity, and justice.” 

“More broadly [the class] fosters a critical awareness of the ways in which sexism, heterosexism, religious intolerance and racism disable social justice and undermine deliberative democracy,” the course description adds

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One recent facilitator of the program, Cornell student Alicia O’Neil, told the school that her experience in Intergroup Dialogue helped her “assert her ideas [about race] and still come off as respectful.” 

“In conversations about social justice, it’s easy to talk about the ways in which we’re oppressed,” she said.

“As a black woman, the experience...helped me learn how to confront my socio-economic privilege and my privilege as a U.S. citizen,” O’Neil added. “I wanted to know how to encourage other people to do the same because it’s really hard.”

Cornell encourages students to enroll through an online form, which asks students to self-identify their race, religion, socioeconomic status, and other possible identities. 

Campus Reform reached out to the university multiple times for a comment but did not hear back. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen