COLUMBIA — The MU Faculty Council will take up a diversity course proposal at its meeting Thursday.
The idea of adding a diversity course to graduation requirements for every student gained momentum after two students were put on probation for leaving cotton balls in front of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center last February.
In January, faculty across campus were asked to comment on a list of courses put forward to satisfy a diversity requirement. Discussion was delayed when a snowstorm canceled a council meeting earlier this month.
The proposal before the council includes classes in a wide range of disciplines, from anthropology and geography to women and gender studies and black studies.
There was debate about courses considered "mono-cultural," such as Korean Civilization and Brazilian Cinema, and critics contended they did not specifically address problems of social inequality, according to Academic Affairs Committee Chairwoman Victoria Johnson.
The issue will be discussed Thursday, Johnson said.
Johnson said there has been a push for a diversity course requirement for a long time, but it came to the forefront after last year's incident.
“It should have been implemented a long time ago,” she said.
Faculty Council members have been asked to solicit feedback from their constituents for Thursday's meeting. The intent is to head off problems about the proposal so it will pass, Johnson said.
The diversity course requirement won’t force students to take more classes, said Leona Rubin, a member of the council's executive committee. The difficulty will be implementing the requirement, Rubin said.
“We don’t want to overburden a small number of classes, and we don’t want to have too many classes, either,” she said.
A subcommittee of the Committee on Undergraduate Education will be created to approve the courses, according to Rubin.