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MSU Students Facing Inability of ‘Viewing Grades’ Over Mandated Diversity Training

Author: Sergei Kelley

Michigan State University threatens to limit grade visibility if students do not complete the new diversity training.

MSU President Samuel Stanley announced to students through email the new diversity, equity, and inclusion ‘education and development learning’ on October 26. “Our responsibility is to ensure our continued commitment to becoming a safer, more respectful and more inclusive institution,” Stanley wrote.

Students will receive information from the MSU Office of Regulatory Affairs to complete the training in the coming days. Stanley indicates students have an “extended period” to complete the training, but “students who pass the deadline in spring 2021 will experience restrictions on viewing grades.”

The training comes after several months of development, petitioning by the MSU student government, and after a White House order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping (EO 13950). The directive aims to limit “race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating in the Federal workforce or in the Uniformed Services, and not to allow grant funds to be used for these purposes.”

[RELATED STORY: MSU May Stand 'Firmly Against' Executive Order Curbing Diversity and Race Training]

In response, some colleges have canceled diversity training programs, but some have pushed back against the order.

Students shared mixed opinions on the mandated inclusion training. Kennedy Mazara Jr., studying human resources, told The Morning Watch, “As a black student at MSU, I feel as if the organization is trying to appease the masses...Bigotry, if present, is deep rooted, and a training won’t ameliorate the issue. Time spent together is the best way to address bigotry. A vast majority of white people do not have a problem with black people, let alone act on their biases.”

“I think it’s a great idea to have this training and is needed!,” Olivia Gager said. “Although I do think it was bad timing adding it as a mandatory thing while we’re all struggling with online.”

Gager is studying Agribusiness Management and Agronomy at MSU.

Supporting the training and the timing, marketing student Hannah Lee said, “I agree that it's a good idea. But I disagree that it was a bad timing. I think this IS the perfect time to start it bc of how much racial issues had been spotlighted recently.”

The student government, the Associated Students of MSU, have passed multiple bills advocating for mandated diversity training. One bill pointed to “insufferable emotional...and safety damage” to minorities by actions “intended or not” to trigger.

[RELATED STORY: Rural Communities TRASHED During Passage of Mandated Diversity Training Bill]

Mandatory training in fall 2019 for newly enrolled or transfer students discussed privilege, microaggressions, and ‘targeted identities.’ One training video said, “There’s often this obliviousness...of racial privilege and particularly of gender privilege for white males.”

They hold this privilege by being “members of these social groups,” and are “born with these privileges.”

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