CSUN students protest education requirement order that could affect diversity, gender, cultural studies

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Cal State University, Northridge students protested on campus Thursday during the freshmen convocation over the issue of diversity. (KABC)

Cal State University, Northridge students protested on campus Thursday during the freshmen convocation over the issue of diversity.

It boils down to an executive order that CSUN President Dianne Harrison said the university must comply with that came directly from the chancellor's office. Opponents said the order will put ethnic, gender and cultural studies courses in jeopardy.

Those courses are currently under a section required for general education.

"Those classes and those professors have impacted us - the students - in many different ways," one student said.

Harrison issued a statement that said Section F will remain in place, but some students and faculty are concerned changes that could come in the 2019 school year would modify requirements.

"They're trying to dilute the significance of ethnic studies. By saying that other courses that wouldn't necessarily meet the standards can now qualify potentially in Section F, such as courses in biology, courses in history," Professor Stevie Ruiz said. "One of the problems with that is that ethnic studies comes from social movements and is key in social justice."

Professor Rosa Rivera Furumoto said ethnic courses will still be available but if they're not required they could disappear.

"Of course that sends a message to students that these courses are not important and that learning about cultural diversity and cultural competence is not important," she said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the university's media relations director, specifically on questions regarding the 2019 year. She could not answer them at the time she was reached, but stressed there will be no changes to Section F requirements.

Students have planned a walkout on Sept. 27.
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