UCLA’s Legislative Assembly has given final approval to a measure that requires undergraduates to take a course on ethnic, cultural, religious or gender diversity, campus officials said in remarks reported today.
The assembly Thursday voted 85 to 18 in favor of the measure, with four abstentions, the Los Angeles Times reported. The requirement already applies to incoming freshmen starting next fall, and extends to transfer students in 2017.
The measure was previously approved by a faculty group and various college committees. The much-debated requirement has been proposed and rejected three times in the last two decades, according to The Times.
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block has been a proponent of the diversity classes, saying they would help students function in a multicultural society, the newspaper reported. He said in a statement that the vote confirms UCLA’s commitment to exposing undergraduates to diverse backgrounds and views.
Opponents said students were already overwhelmed with class requirements, and feared the university would not be able to pay for more classes, according to The Times. Others doubted whether classes could actually improve ethnic relations.