Students Must Pass New ‘Race and Ethnic Studies’ Requirement to Graduate

Portland State University (PSU) is introducing a new required course category into the 2022-23 course catalog: the “Race and Ethnic Studies requirement (RESR).”

Courses that satisfy the RESR address topics such as imperialism and colonialism.

“Introduction to Black Studies,” “Black Feminism/Womanism,” “Chicanx Labor History,” “Prejudice, Privilege, and Power,” and “Queer Families” are just some of the courses students can choose from to meet the Race and Ethnic Studies requirement.

PSU states that “[t]he new requirement…ensures students are equipped with an understanding of how historically rooted and ongoing racism affects institutions in Oregon, the U.S. and the world.”

PSU course details state that students with less than 90 college credits joining PSU “will satisfy the requirement by completing two RESR designated courses (a minimum of 3 credits each) with a central focus on race, ethnicity and systemic oppression.”

PSU is known for its long-standing commitment to the social justice movement. The university prides itself on the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (‘DEI’) on campus.

PSU’s diversity statement, for example, emphasizes that DEI “is the essential framework” of who they are and what they strive to achieve “as an institution and community.”

President Stephen Percy at Portland State believes that “[d]ismantling systemic racism is the responsibility of everyone in the PSU community.”

“Recognizing that systemic racism is entrenched in every aspect of life, it is important that we amplify our efforts across campus to dismantle systems that oppress Black people and other people of color,” Percy is quoted as saying in the “Proposal for a Race/Ethnicity Requirement for Portland State Undergraduates.”

Campus Reform reached out to President Percy, PSU, and several student organizations at Portland State University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Source: Campus Reform

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