Two open forums will allow campus input on a proposed graduation requirement, designed to help students understand and discuss the idea of diversity in American society.

“Diversity and inclusion are core values stated in Illinois State University’s strategic plan,” said Provost Jan Murphy. “We want students to explore those ideas, and have open discussions about what they mean for our society.”

A committee of faculty and staff have been working throughout the 2017-2018 academic year on the potential Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in U.S. Society graduation requirement (IDEAS). The proposal, which is following the Academic Senate-approved process for graduation requirements, would have students complete at least one course designated in the IDEAS category.

The committee will seek input from the campus community with open forums from 3-4 p.m. April 3 and 4, in Stevenson Hall, room 401.

“The courses will help students recognize the benefits and challenges of living in a diverse society and prepare them to thrive in it,” said Rocío Rivadeneyra, chair of the IDEAS committee. For the past year, the committee has been reviewing pertinent courses currently offered in the majors, as well as national best practices in developing students’ respect for the diversity of U.S. cultures.

Students already take a course for graduation that is designated to explore cultures or languages from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, or Indigenous Peoples of the World (AMALI). “This is another step in helping students identify the strengths and contributions of diverse groups within the U.S.,” said Rivadeneyra.

The suggestion for the requirement stemmed from the recent Campus Climate Task Force.