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University of Washington Students Must Take Diversity Course

SEATTLE — Students at the University of Washington will be required to take a course in some area of social, political or economic diversity before they can graduate.

The requirement has been approved by President Michael Young and the faculty senate. Deans in each school and college must approve a list of three-credit courses to satisfy the diversity requirement, which takes effect for the incoming class next fall.

The Seattle Times reports that two-thirds of students already take classes that would likely satisfy the requirement. Other major universities, including Washington State University, already have a diversity requirement for graduation.

Some possible UW diversity classes include Peasants in Politics, Class and Culture in East Asia, Gender and Spirituality, and World Music.

James Gregory, a history professor and chairman of the Faculty Senate, which must approve all such changes, said “there was a lot of wordsmithing and adjusting the resolution at various stages.”

“There were changes in executive committee, more changes on the floor of the Senate,” Gregory said. “A lot of the things that bothered certain faculty members were worked out.”

Gregory said the final policy was “a very modest curriculum requirement.”

“It doesn’t complicate the curriculum,” he said. “We were careful not to do that.”

The Faculty Senate approved the measure in April.

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