As a high school senior, I rolled my eyes when I first heard “Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong.” At the time, I did not fully realize the implications for the precedent set by Alexandra Wallace.
A lot has happened since 2011 and the “Asians in the Library” debacle. We’ve had UCLA faculty vote down the Community and Conflict in the Modern World GE requirement in early 2012. The Vietnamese Student Union sign was vandalized with racist and sexist slurs in late 2012. Most recently, a racist and sexist flyer was sent to the UCLA Asian American Studies Center in 2014.
Although there have been numerous setbacks, we have also been able to make progress at UCLA. On Friday evening, we saw the final passing of the Diversity Requirement for the College of Letters and Science with astounding support from students, professors, and faculty from the entire university. The Diversity Requirement would ensure that students graduating from UCLA’s College of Letters and Science will do so with “a better understanding of and appreciation for the complex differences” that we see in the world.
“This is a victory for the past, present and the future,” Academic Affairs Commissioner Allyson Bach said.
This is the first step in truly bringing awareness to people, places, and events of different backgrounds. I feel blessed to have found a unique community on this campus that allows me to critically think about our beautiful institution. As an Education Studies Minor at UCLA, classes such as Education 130 and 164 have been the starting point for me in uncovering the progress that has occurred across the nation in higher education.
More specifically, my coursework has informed me of how diversity related courses can positively affect the learning experience of all of its students. Despite the passing of the diversity requirement, more work needs to be done on this campus. However, I am confident that all students can work together to continue the progress that we have made.
Moving forward, the UCLA Academic Senate Undergraduate Council must approve a list of courses this quarter to prepare for the entering first-year students during the fall and for transfer students in two years. UCLA has finally moved towards improving its campus climate. Nonetheless, we must continue to work together to ensure that we successfully execute the purpose of the Diversity Requirement, which is to welcome Bruins with diverse experiences and perspectives to our beautiful campus.