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In Opposition to Additional Curriculum Requirements

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In Opposition to Additional Curriculum Requirements

This petition is being circulated in response to calls from other student organizations and members of the Student Assembly to increase the homogeneity of the Cornell curriculum in certain areas. These groups currently seek to amend the curriculum of all seven undergraduate colleges by adding even more requirements than those that exist presently. These efforts include:

- Social Justice Requirement

- Diversity Requirement

- Tapestry Requirement

From here on, these requirements will be referred to collectively as “the requirement.”

We are against this additional requirement for the reasons listed below and call upon our campus leaders to focus their attention to more important concerns. 

We welcome you to sign this petition and join our cause.

We Believe That:

1. It is the responsibility of the Student Assembly to serve as the voice of the undergraduate student body in communicating its desires to the administration.

2. Cornell University is an institution that presently provides a wide range of extra-curricular and professional opportunities for students to learn about social justice and diversity.

3. The Cornell course offerings are among the best and broadest in the country and are not in need of an additional requirement dealing with diversity and social justice.

4. There exists a finite amount of resources that the administration has at its disposal. Other departments within individual colleges will naturally suffer if they are forced to incorporate this requirement into their curricula.

5. The current University response to the diversity question is too focused on one particular dimension of one's background. The University should give more weight to students’ intellectual and philosophical background. This requirement limits intellectual freedom by mandating that every undergraduate student must take courses on diversity.

6. The Student Assembly’s attempt to impart prefabricated, narrowly focused concepts of morality through required classes on social justice and diversity disregards true diversity—the opportunity for every student to craft a curriculum which allows for maximum personal choice.

7. Promoting academic liberty does not hinder the desire of the Student Assembly to increase campus diversity. In fact, it allows students to engage in a wider range of intellectual pursuits. One cannot support this additional requirement while also stating to support increased student choices.

Calls to Action

1. In the best interest of students, the Student Assembly should immediately discontinue all efforts to promote the Requirement.

2. In discussions with the administration, the Student Assembly should promote academic policies that encourage free thought, intellectual diversity, and ultimately, provide increased options, not fewer, for every student.

By signing this position, I affirm the above beliefs and call upon my student leaders to act in the best interests of all undergraduates so as not to limit our academic freedom.


The Campus Liberty Project


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