CSU Chancellor eliminates cultural studies requirement

California State University’s Chancellor issued an executive order Tuesday that has students and at least one system president reeling in frustration.

According to an email obtained by Campus Reform, CSU Chancellor Timothy White proposed Executive Order 1100, which will effectively remove the so-called Section F from the system’s General Education (GE) requirements—the section that requires students to earn six credits in comparative and cross-cultural studies.

[RELATED: UC Riverside considering mandatory gender studies course]

Most, if not all, ethnic, gender, women’s, and cultural studies classes are housed under Section F, meaning students will no longer be required to complete courses in this area prior to graduation, prompting backlash from students and some university leaders.

CSU, Northridge President Dianne Harrison, for instance, issued a Tuesday statement decrying the order and assuring her students of solutions.

“I want to reiterate that CSUN is 100 percent committed to our ethnic, gender, women's and cultural studies departments and programs, which are points of pride for the university, vital to our institutional character and contributors to student success. There will be no dismantling of these departments and programs,” she wrote to her students, vaguely threatening alternatives to keep such courses a part of the GE requirements.

“Any implementation proposal must retain the requirement that students complete 6 units of comparative cross cultural studies, ensuring that these courses remain a part of the 48 GE units,” Harrison continued. “I remain confident that together we can face this challenge, delivering a solution that not only meets the best interests of our students and meets the requirements of these executive orders, but also maintains CSUN's commitment to ethnic, gender, women's and cultural studies.”

Harrison’s email came one day after a protest in which students were encouraged by CSUN’s Queer Collective to “refrain from purchasing anything on campus all day.”

“We refuse to financially support an institutional system and chancellor [who] does not support a culturally diverse education,” an advertisement for the protest declared. “Refrain from financially supporting a system that no longer wants to support our communities.”

[RELATED: Clemson to roll mandatory diversity course]

According to The Sundial, several students did show up for the protest, and were offered free beverages and food as a substitute for campus facilities.

“It took a lot of struggle to get these departments Chicano Studies Department, Africana Studies Department, American studies department, and in one follow swoop the Chancellor CSU pass these orders that basically cuts our departments so we are here to do whatever we can to stop that,” student Eduardo Estrada remarked.

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