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LATEST: Mandatory Diversity Training Continuing, Despite Pandemic

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Contributor: Jack Carlson

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and drastic changes at Michigan State University, the administration is working to institute mandatory diversity training.

According to MSU President Samuel Stanley, training will likely begin online, but morph into “additional training” in-person. Last week, he discussed how it would be impacted by the coronavirus and Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recent executive order.

[RELATED STORY: MSU States ‘Novel Coronavirus’ is the Only “Acceptable” Term, Encourages Signing of Anti-Hate Pledge]

It is still unclear which specific practices or methods the training would entail. However, both MSU’s Strategic Planning and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committees made clear, in an email, the training will be continually developed.

Both committees are asking students to refer to their websites to comment and offer feedback.

The decision by President Stanley and the university comes after alleged racist comments made at a Q&A panel with the President in February, a display of African American and White figurines being hung from a tree, and an alleged toilet paper noose hung in a dormitory last fall.

In addition to President Stanley’s decision, Michigan State’s student government recently approved a bill mandating diversity training for all of their members. The bill was met with strong approval by student government members.“Everyone in ASMSU needs to attend a Diversity-Equity-Inclusion training,” said Chloe Majzel, a representative for the MSU Asian Pacific American Student Organization.

[RELATED STORY: Diversity Training, Stopping 'Homophobic' FDA Practices Highlight ASMSU's Last Meeting]

Offering his thoughts on the mandatory diversity training initiative, freshman Parth Sharma told The Morning Watch, “diversity training can be somewhat helpful in spreading awareness and understanding for other people’s culture.” Despite this, he added, “It shouldn’t be mandatory, because if someone has a certain belief about a specific thing, forcing them into a diversity training program would likely not change their personal views.”

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