Student government petitions University of Oregon to require critical race theory training for graduation

The University of Oregon’s student government is petitioning the school to make critical race theory training a requirement to graduate from the learning institution.

During a board of trustees meeting on Wednesday, the student government made the request to require critical race theory in order for students to earn their degrees.

“I think we’ve identified this as an issue across the nation, as something that’s relevant to not only the educational value for students, but also to the wellbeing of our community,” Associated Students of UO President Isaiah Boyd said at the board of trustees’ quarterly meeting.

“My goal is to, with the undergraduate provost’s office in the winter quarter, to kind of establish the curriculum,” Boyd said, according to KEZI. “As well as our ethnic studies department, our black studies department and seeing if we can coordinate with them and open up that discussion of how can we build a system sustainable for years to come.”

Boyd added, “Obviously higher education is a center point for advancing and exchanging cultural ideas so it only makes sense to embed what the history of racism is in America.”

Boyd is pushing the school to require CRT as a graduation requirement by the 2022-2023 school year.

The Office of the Provost said in a statement that it is open to the idea of making critical race theory a graduation requirement, “The University of Oregon is committed to the core belief that diversity of background, thought, and perspective is an absolute necessity for building academic excellence. To that end, we continuously seek opportunities to expand scholarship of racial injustice and to raise awareness of and address systemic racism and inequities on campus. This is an ongoing endeavor.”

The Office of the Provost told Fox News, “Recently, the university went through an extensive process to update its undergraduate Core Education requirement focused on issues of race and inequality. The Office of the Provost is happy to continue the dialogue with student leadership around core curriculum requirements in conjunction with the University Senate and its curriculum committees, which now have student representation for the first time in several years, thanks to the ASUO.”

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported, “Currently, every UO student is required to take at least one course about ‘Difference, Inequality and Agency’ in the United States, as well as one ‘Global Perspective’ course. However, a wide variety of classes fall under those categories, and not all of them are explicitly about racial inequity — meaning students can sidestep classes focused on race, if they wish. For example, among the ‘US: Difference, Inequality, Agency’ courses are a contemporary art history class and a North American archaeology class.”

On Oct. 27, the University of Oregon’s Senate passed a resolution to allow faculty to “teach about race and gender justice and critical race theory.”

“The University Senate resolutely rejects any attempts by bodies external to the faculty to restrict or dictate university curriculum on any matter, including matters related to racial and social justice, and will stand firm against encroachment on faculty authority by the legislature or the Boards of Trustees,” the motion read, according to the Washington Examiner.