The 64-campus SUNY college system is turning into the Woke University of New York — ordering incoming freshman at all of its colleges they will have to pass a new “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice”-themed class to earn a diploma.
The new college racial equity courses must, according to State University of New York documents:
- Describe the historical and contemporary societal factors that shape the development of individual and group identity involving race, class and gender.
- Analyze the role that complex networks of social structures and systems play in the creation and perpetuation of the dynamics of power, privilege, oppression and opportunity.
- Apply the principles of rights, access, equity, and autonomous participation to past, current, or future social justice action.
While the primary focus is on equity and social justice in the US, courses can also look at what has happened or is currently happening in other countries for comparison, the mandate reads.
Critics say such mandated “equity” training actually flies in the face of goals for racial “equality.”
“This is nuts,” Nicholas Giordano, a political science professor at SUNY’s Suffolk Community College told The Post. “SUNY is one of the best university systems in the country. Why are they doing this?!”
“DEISJ is a cultural movement, not based on academics. Unfortunately, SUNY responded to the mob.”
Giordano, a fellow at the conservative watchdog group Campus Reform, said the new DEISJ coursework seeks to portray the US as “inherently racist” and tries to undermine the American identity that unifies all citizens by “creating groups and pitting them against each other.”
He said the curriculum seeks to have students “defined by the color of their skin.”
“To tell [minority students] they can’t compete with a white person is insulting and racist.”
State Conservative Party chairman Jerry Kassar said the new SUNY curriculum is reminiscent of the debate raging over whether “critical race theory” should be taught in the lower grades.
“This is a woke, left wing agenda. It’s disturbing. It’s dangerous,” Kassar said.
“They’re treating everybody as having prejudice. It’s like a socialist, communist state. It’s unbelievable. These ideas are best addressed at home.”
Several other campuses across the country — Drake University, Brandeis University, Villanova University and the University of California system among them — have imposed similar racial equity programs.
Incoming freshmen at SUNY campuses will be required to pass a certified DEISJ course to graduate.
SUNY’s Board of Trustees approved the sweeping 25-point “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Act” plan aimed at closing “racial equity gaps” in February of 2021 — while New York was grappling with the once in a century coronavirus pandemic. It was crafted under former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his hand-picked chancellor, James Malatras.
The press release then said the new policy called on campuses to “Embed Racial Equity into Curriculum and Toward Racial Equity.” The plan also includes updating the criminal justice curriculum.
SUNY Chancellor John King defended the new DEISJ curriculum and course work as broadening understanding and tolerance.
“Exposure to, and understanding of, diversity is essential to success in our modern society and economy. As a leader in preparing the future workforce and citizenry, SUNY is committed to embedding diversity into the foundation of all it does – from academics to campus life and everything in between,” said King, the former New York State Education commissioner.
“By recognizing and celebrating our diversity and fostering respectful dialogue and debate, SUNY provides students with the world-class education they deserve.”
The SUNY Faculty Senate and Faculty Council of Community Colleges recently issued guidance on approving courses to comply with the new DEISJ requirement.
“Since students need to complete courses prior to transfer or graduation, it is our recommendation that DEISJ content be housed in a single course,” the document says.
The guidance says DEISJ will be embedded across many courses and programs and “most campuses will need to make significant changes to existing curriculum to have courses that fulfill the DEISJ learning outcomes.”
SUNY sources said officials consulted with faculty and students on campuses for months before approving the plan, and there’s a broad support for it.
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