During the past few weeks, administrators at the University have made numerous commitments to improving the treatment of minority groups on campus.
As an institution that markets itself as diverse and inclusive, the recent commitments are a strong start to improving the culture at La Verne.
One of the most pressing demands made by students was a commitment to mandatory cultural competency training, which would educate faculty and staff members on how to interact with, teach and reflect the University’s diverse student population.
Even after President Devorah Lieberman and Provost Jonathan Reed presented their commitments to students on Oct. 26, there was still some lingering questions over how and when such mandatory training would happen.
Ultimately Reed said if the Faculty Senate did not approve mandatory diversity training, he would enforce it himself, but that would open up the policy to appeal by the Faculty Senate.
We recommend the Faculty Senate support such mandatory training efforts on campus.
To be truly culturally competent, quality in-person training is necessary. Optional training is not enough.
The faculty members who need the training the most would be the ones to object or not attend. If there is not an official requirement put in place by the Faculty Senate, then the most egregious offenders or committers of microaggressions will not have their behavior checked.
If the Faculty Senate does not approve mandatory training measures, it will send a message across campus that our educators do not support the diversity and inclusivity values of ULV, and they do not care about students experience.
Many students chose to come to ULV because they were told that this was an institution that cared about lifting and supporting minority groups during their higher education.
The University has not lived up to that promise, but it can begin to work toward that goal in a significant way through the adoption of mandatory diversity training policies.