An open discussion was held for students and senators during an Academic Senate meeting Thursday, to express their opinions about Assembly Bill 1460, which would make ethnic studies a GE requirement.
Hugo Solorzano, president of Chicano Latino Student Association and vice president of the Latinx Student Union, said that he has been vocal at Associated Students Inc. Senate meetings and the forum to show support for proposed requirement.
“We, the student body, want an ethnic studies requirement,” Solorzano said. “As you all know, ASI switched their vote because they listened to our voices.”
The A.S. facilitated a yes-no feedback activity on three questions related to ethnic studies.
The questions included whether it supported the implementation of a general education level requirement or an upper-division requirement for ethnic studies.
The Senate was also presented with an option for a “diversity/social justice requirement,” which would include topics such as ethnicity, race, and gender..
Alejandro Padilla, first-year political science major, said that they want ethnic studies to be taught by an ethnic studies professor.
“A social justice requirement is disingenuous to the bill and to what we want as a student body,” Padilla said.
The lower-division general education requirement, which was openly supported by student activists, was voted on by 58 staff members, 35 in support and 23 in opposition.
The upper-division requirement and the social justice course were voted against by the staff, with 20 members voting in favor of an upper-division requirement and 37 in opposition, and 23 in favor of the social justice course and 32 against it.
“My opinion actually shifted after we had the ASI opening forum, those [history] classes don’t necessarily go into depth about those cultures and people ethnicities as much as ethnic studies does,” said ASI Sen. Jireh Deng “Sometimes people don’t talk about stuff that ethnic studies [talks about], where you learn about culture and your identity and learn about other people’s culture and identity.”