Should students have to take an ethnic studies course in order to graduate?

This is the question about 75 California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State L.A.) faculty and students debated over Tuesday at a Academic Senate meeting, reports the Los Angeles Times.

As the university is planning to switch from a quarter system to a semester system, many programs have to go. The Academic Senate voted last month that one of these programs be the ethnic studies requirement.

Here's what some supporters of the requirement argue:

-The ethnic studies courses (i.e. Asian/Asian American studies, Chicano studies, Latin American studies, Pan-African studies, etc.) help develop critical thinking.

-The courses provide cultural perspective.

-They help students relate to one another.

And here's what some non-supporters of the requirement argue:

-The requirement interferes with a student's right to choose

-Ethnic requirements should be regulated throughout the entire campus curriculum -- not just a handful of departments.

What do you think? Should students be required to take an ethnic studies course in order to graduate? Leave a comment!

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