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Diversity Training MANDATED in Student Gov Bill

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

"Staff and faculty to 'sensitively cater to minority students."'

Contributor: Bri Saroli

Recent “insufferable emotional...and safety damage” to minorities of any actions, “intended or not” trigger a student government bill calling for mandatory diversity training for all students, faculty and staff.

The proposed Associated Students of MSU (ASMSU) bill cites recent “morally and educationally dam*ing” incidents and a need for staff and faculty to “sensitively cater to minority students.”

Furthermore it states “minority or oppressed identities contribute unequivocally to MSU’s advancement.”

The bill’s author told The Morning Watch, “the training needs to be mandatory,” to include students who most need it.

The “mandatory annual Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Training,” has been proposed by James Madison College Rep. Abii-Tah Chungong. The training may be online, or include physical workshops that will be formulated by “students, minority student organization leaders,” and diversity experts.

The bill was prompted by incidents of bias and alleged bias on campus against black and minority students.

Alleged acts mentioned in the bill include:

  • Email thread of insensitive comments replying to REHS’ clarification of the rumor of ICE on campus

  • Vandalization of MRULE’s notice board in James Madison College, tearing down the photos of all students of color, and allowing the white member’s photo undisturbed

  • The vandalization and decimation of the sukkah erected at MSU’s Hillel

  • A supposed “Halloween prank” in Bryan hall that entailed tissue paper, to appear like a noose, and taped on the front door of black students

  • A SONA survey approved by MSU’s Institutional Review Board, containing offensive comments to minorities

  • Experiences suffered and shared by MSU students since the 1980s

“Inspired by the community forum hosted by the Black Students Alliance and ASMSU,” the EDI training would include feedback to “evaluate and ameliorate training activities, as well as to measure impact.”

Further stated, the bill would continue the pledge to “curb sexual violence on campus by enforcing yearly Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence trainings.”

The bill cited MSU’s Anti-Discrimination Act which “prohibits the harassment of “any university community member(s) on the basis of age, color, gender, gender identity, disability status, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight.”

MSU has advocated and pursued similar training in other cases. Mandatory diversity training and sex education classes were held again this year, as well as in previous years.

The new proposed bill hopes to bring about a sense of understanding towards all individuals that attend Michigan State University. “Each year of training will aim to adapt, advancing more contemporary skill-sets and knowledge.”

Author: Bri Saroli

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