Race and social justice classes now easier to find
Madeline S. Scharf – Reporter
Starting in the Fall 2021 semester, students will have a comprehensive place to find courses with a focus on race and diversity.
Meredith Sinclair is the chair for the Undergraduate Curriculum Form (UCF). She is a part of this initiative to develop classes with a theme around the topic of race and interdisciplinary justice and to share them where students may be able to access them.
The processes to compile these classes was a collective effort. “We decided to try an experiment. We sent out an email which staff could submit their courses if it centered around themes of race and intersectional justice,” said Sinclair. The list currently has around 20 courses, and these are only the ones submitted via email. Sinclair believes some professors may not have seen the email, and therefore expects more to be added over time.
The courses added to this list stretch across myriad of majors and minors. Some will be available via the Liberal Educations Program. This program, often referred to as LEP, are requirements every liberal arts major must participate in. Therefore, any student would be able to take them and have them apply to their degree evaluation.
Sinclair wants some of these LEP requirements to be more engaging to students. “We want something that is more than just a checkbox,” said Sinclair. Instead of having students take requirements they may not be interested in, Sinclair hopes that important topics will ensure students’ engagement and enjoyment.
All courses are LEP, however. “Unfortunately, a majority of classes are major specific,” said Sinclair. If the application proves to be popular, there may be an increase in classes for those of any major, not just specific ones.
he courses on this list are not necessarily new, but there is hope that list will bring new light to the topics discussed in them. “When students are looking at the course catalogue, they may not know what is encompassing the course outside of the title,” said Sinclair.
When submitting their courses for this list, teachers were able to fill out course descriptions, explaining how their course relates to the subject of race and intersectional justice. “This really ensures students know what they are getting into, and helps move us beyond just the course catalog,” said Sinclair. It will help students get to know the classes they are signing up for, as well as the main topics covered in them.
Students looking at prospective courses dealing with themes of race and intersectional justice, the UCF will soon be publishing this list of classes. “All classes on the list are for the upcoming summer and fall 2021 semester,” said Sinclair. This way interested parties will be able to engage with these topics as soon as possible.
“We are really excited to be highlighting this work,” said Sinclair. “It is one small piece to meet the goal of being a social justice university.
Vice President of SGA Madison Miceli believes this compilation of classes will allow students to see more classes they were unaware of on the topic of race and intersectional justice. “SGA as a whole will always promote learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion in and out of the classroom setting,” says Miceli.