Colorado Course Limited To Minorities, Others Draw Fire
BOULDER, Colo. College Republicans are complaining about a University of Colorado class limited to minority and first-generation college students, citing what they call “registration discrimination.” The “School and Society” course in the School of Education meets a general graduation requirement for non-majors. The course has a lengthy waiting list and is broken into smaller classes, including one specifically for minority and first-generation students. “It’s purely and blatantly segregationist,” said Brad Jones, chairman of CU’s College Republicans. Jones said some White students who may need to take the course “find out they would be able to get into the class only if the color of their skin was right.” He said his group is “going to contest this action” with the school. School of Education Dean Lorrie Shepard said the section requirements are not strictly race-based. Besides minority students, the class includes students of any race who are the first in their family to go to college. The course itself covers issues of race, gender and culture, and is open to all students, she said. She said the section for underrepresented students was developed as an experiment last year after students of color found they were repeatedly called on to represent a minority perspective. “Often a student of color would find they were the only non-White person in a given section and very often their class would turn to them whenever an issue of race was discussed,” Shepard said. “They’d be asked if they agreed with a certain perspective or to defend a position. They’d be put on the spot in ways that made it feel like a hostile environment.” The section drew 15 to 20 students last year. Shepard said CU is “not saying students of color need to be in this section.” But she said it provides a “much safer and open environment to be able to agree and disagree with each other without having to speak for their whole group.” — Associated Press
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