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Monday, March 04, 2024
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

UF panel discusses diversity on campus, changing the diversity credit requirement

During a panel discussion Monday, six former and current faculty members examined historical attempts of diversity since the founding of UF.

About 100 people attended the panel, which examined questions in terms of the humanities and how it directly correlates to teaching, learning and social interactions on campus.

Panel participants included Carmen Diana Deere, UF professor of food and resource economics; Harry Shaw, professor emeritus of English and former CLAS associate dean for Minority Affairs; Connie Shehan, professor of sociology; Meera Sitharam, professor of computer science and engineering; and Kenneth Wald, professor of political science.

Each participant discussed minority relationships to the culture and diversity at UF in terms of women’s, Latin American, African-American and Jewish studies.

The main topics of discussion explored racial, gender and sexual, and religious segregation at UF and how these issues remain current in light of worsening socioeconomic issues that limit current minority college students and faculty.

“It’s more important what one does with an opportunity than where one begins,” Shaw said.

They also examined each minority relationship to the Student Body and faculty in an attempt to help each group member find an understanding of their role at the university.

“We’ve had a lot of progress,” Shehan said, “but we still have a long way to go.”

Students can also add to the discussion of diversity by visiting www.civildebatewall.com or going to the Pugh Hall Ocora to interact and express their opinions. The current topic of debate is whether UF should change the diversity requirement from three to six credits.

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