OSU class: 'Why are guys always expected to pay on a date?'

Students at Ohio State University are being offered a class this semester that promises to teach them about microaggressions, privilege, and power.

Crossing Identity Boundaries: A Journey Towards Intercultural Leadership” is a three credit course currently being promoted to Ohio State students through the school’s Multicultural Center.

“Looking for an engaging second-session class?” asked a recent Facebook post from the OSU Multicultural Center, encouraging students to sign up “to discuss social group identity, conflict, community, and social justice.”

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“Some of the identities spoken about include gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and religion,” the post declares.

There are five sections of the course available during the second session of the Spring 2017 semester, which began March 1.

Learning goals include teaching students how to “identify micro-aggressions within their daily lives and within society as a whole,” as well as how to “define power, privilege, value systems, and difference.”

Further, the class asks students to grapple with difficult questions, such as “Why is racism always a black/white thing?” and “Are guys always expected to pay on a date?"

Clarence Johnson, a December 2016 graduate of OSU who majored in English, told Campus Reform that he would have definitely taken the class had it been available while he was a student.

“Crossing Identity Boundaries may be one of the most important classes at The Ohio State University,” Johnson said. “Many underrepresented cultures exist on the OSU campus and as a black student I have felt out of place before. I would have undoubtedly taken the class if I was given the opportunity.”

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“Overall, sometimes the celebration of diversity at OSU can sometimes seem like a facade,” he remarked, noting that while OSU is a diverse campus, it can also be “daunting to minorities.”

According to BuckeyeLink, the website OSU students use to search for classes, at least one section of the course is taught by two administrators—Julie Marie Sanzone and Grant P. Walters—both of whom are listed as Assistant Directors in Residence Life, rather than faculty members.

Campus Reform reached out to Sanzone and Walters, as well as Todd Suddeth, the official point of contact for the class through OSU’s Multicultural Center, but did not receive responses from any of them in time for publication.

The OSU Media Office likewise failed to provide a response by press time.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen