A decidedly progressive student group at Cornell University called Black Students United has sent a letter to school administrators saying they want the entire faculty to undergo training in diversity and a host of other garden variety issues in identity politics.

The Cornell Daily Sun has the story:

Cornell Black Students United to Submit Faculty Training Resolution to Student Assembly

Black Students United will present a resolution prompting the Faculty Senate to examine how Cornell’s faculty members are educated in diversity issues at the Student Assembly’s meeting on Thursday.

The resolution originated from one of the demands BSU delivered to Cornell’s administration last semester regarding faculty training, according to a BSU facebook post.

“After conferring with the administration, we found that the best course of action would be submitting a resolution to the Student Assembly,” the group’s post stated, explaining that they chose to single out this demand and present it to the student body.

The letter detailing demands, issued by BSU to President Elizabeth Garrett and Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, was delivered to the Office of the President at the end of a silent march to Day Hall on Nov. 17 and leaked onto a Cornell subreddit on Nov. 21, The Sun previously reported.

“We want all employees of the university, academic and otherwise — including tenured professors — to have appropriate, ongoing training that deals with issues of identity, such as race, class, religion, ability status, sexual and romantic orientation, gender and citizenship status,” the letter stated. “We want this coursework to be explicitly focused on systems of power and privilege in the United States and centering the voices of oppressed people.”

This part of the article is particularly telling:

While the University currently offers a lot of “compelling programming” addressing facets of diversity, the majority of them are optional, according to BSU co-chair Samari Gilbert ’17.

“The faculty that self select into those programs probably aren’t the ones that need to be educated about the topic,” Gilbert said. “We have extremely dedicated faculty and hopefully the resolution can push them to be even more effective inside and out of the classroom.”

In other words, the people who already submit to BSU’s mandatory reeducation training aren’t the problem, it’s the people who won’t go willingly who are the problem.

Professor Jacobson, who teaches at Cornell, offered the following view of the faculty diversity training demand:

“I welcome a vigorous faculty senate and campus-wide examination of the lack of political diversity on campus, and ways in which we can expand understanding of the intellectual foundations of Western Civilization, constitutional liberty and free-market capitalism. But somehow I doubt that’s what they have in mind.”

BSU has a history of issuing demands. Below, you can read a seven page document they sent to Cornell’s late president Elizabeth Garrett last fall at the height of nationwide campus protests:

Cornell Black Students United Demands by sunshinelaw2015

Featured image is a screen cap from BSU’s Facebook page.


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