CSU approves new 'ethnic studies and social justice' graduation requirement

The nation's largest four-year, public university system will require students to take an ethnic studies course to graduate.

The new requirement will go into effect beginning in 2023.

The California State University system will require that students complete an ethnic studies course to meet the requirements for graduation. 

The CSU board of trustees voted Wednesday to expand the required number of courses to cover ethnic and social justice studies beginning during the 2023-2024 school year. The university cited “Africana literature, Native Californian perspectives, police reform, disparities in public health and the economics of racism” as examples of courses that would fulfill the requirement.

With 482,000 enrolled students, CSU is the largest four-year public university system in the country.

[RELATED: Scalia Law School students demand special scholarships for ‘Black students and students of color’]

“Colleges are derelict in their duties to students already; the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the CSU and UC system to be institutions out of touch with reality,” Samuel Dorsey, College Republicans President at Humboldt State University, which is part of the CSU system, told Campus Reform. “Academia has a reputation in California and nationwide for being elitist, aloof, and extremely biased.”

“Rather than creating more flexible course work, personalized and useful degree tracts, dealing with the crisis in the General Education requirements, addressing rising student side costs, topheavy administration, or the rampant and clear bias in our public institutions of higher learning, the CSU board of trustees and the state legislature have decided to require yet more courses and political training for students. This move will increase the time and money students must spend in school at a time when many are debating the value of their degrees.”

“Our goal is for CSU students, from every major and in every workplace, to be leaders in creating a more just and equitable society,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White in a statement. “This action, by the CSU and for the CSU, lifts Ethnic Studies to a place of prominence in our curriculum, connects it with the voices and perspectives of other historically oppressed groups, and advances the field by applying the lens of social justice. It will empower our students to meet this moment in our nation’s history, giving them the knowledge, broad perspectives, and skills needed to solve society’s most pressing problems. And it will further strengthen the value of a CSU degree.”

[RELATED: Harvard faces calls to rename ‘Board of Overseers’ over slavery ties]

“The CSU continues to shift the goalposts for students trying to graduate and become productive members of society,” California Federated College Republicans Activism Director Michael Curry, who is also a Campus Reform correspondent, told Campus Reform. “Priorities have shifted from creating a high quality and affordable education into developing an indoctrination center meant to trap students in courses learning the opinions of their professors. The focus on ‘social justice’ is proof these classes are meant to promote a certain worldview.”

“On top of everything else, the CSU system already has diversity requirements needed to graduate. Each student must take a class based in Global Cultures, as well as a class to fulfill a United Stated Diversity requirement. The redundancy of these courses shows the level of attention, or lack thereof, the California State University system pays to its quality of education,” Curry continued.

“If the CSU system really cared about countering racism they would have identified an actual instance of systemic racism and come up with a solution. Instead, they are trying to push through any policy they think will please the mob they have created. There is no accountability in our education system and students are paying for it,” he added.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Arik_Schneider