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Difference, Power, and Equity I

The plan (pdf) to replace the Exploring Diversity Initiative (pdf) with a Difference, Power, and Equity (DPE) requirement will be discussed at this week’s faculty meeting. Day 1 of our discussion.

Requirements are bad. Beyond demanding that students major in something and take 32 classes, Williams should place no further limits on student course selection. As former President Morty Schapiro was fond of pointing out, your time at Williams is limited. You only have 32 “golden tickets.” Every time the College makes you take a class that you would otherwise not have taken, it (potentially, at least) burns one of those tickets. Even the number 32 is often an overestimate since it does not include the 9 (or more) courses in your major or the 4 (or 8) courses you miss while studying abroad. In terms of pure discretion, the number of golden tickets might be as low as 15. Unless the Administration has a compelling reason to believe that a student is making a mistake when she picks course X over course Y, they should let her decide. She knows best.

The proposal:


Can any insider give us the background? This seems to be a revised proposal. How does it differ from the first? Is it likely to pass? What is the constellation of forces for and against?

If you are the Record and you use this document, you should credit EphBlog. The College (stupidly) refuses to make the material distributed before faculty meetings public. More transparency please! Putting faculty meeting materials (and the notes which follow) here makes sense because, first, this is high quality work! Second, any document that you e-mail to 300+ people is more-or-less public anyway.

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#1 Comment By anonymous On February 7, 2017 @ 7:56 am

Perhaps the previous definitions of diversity were too diverse for effective indoctrination. Would a course analyzing leftist power structures in academia fit this new rubric?

#2 Comment By Whitney Wilson ’90 On February 7, 2017 @ 9:50 am

While I can appreciate DDF’s position on required courses, I don’t think this is a bad idea. I would assume that there would be a very wide range of classes which would satisfy the requirement, and having students look at a topic from a different perspective is helpful.

I am also curious as to how this new proposed requirement differs from the EDI requirement? Do the courses which would meet both requirements completely overlap? Is one broader than the other?

#3 Comment By anon On February 7, 2017 @ 11:24 am

The DPE appears to be a subset of the EDI (the power and privilege category, as described in the link).

#4 Comment By John C. Drew, Ph.D. On February 7, 2017 @ 1:23 pm

Sad. This is just more nauseating pandering to leftist utopian ideology and the constituent parts of the extremist Democrat party. A more useful requirement, which would be truly refreshing, would be called Capitalism, Nationalism, and Judeo-Christian Values. It would be designed to look at all the same topics but with an in-your-face approach that would cause Democrats to acknowledge the outright falsehood which have caused so many voters to reject them. For example:

1. Race – The Bell Curve in History: A race realist look at how enduring racial patterns in IQ pose enduring problems for public policy and democratic politics.

2. Class – How Personal Responsibility Impacts Economic Success: A thoughtful investigation of how personal responsibility in matters of birth control, addiction, and criminality have profound impacts on the generation of wealth and the transfer of wealth between generations.

3. Ethnicity – Cultural Values and Life Outcomes: A detailed look at how culture impacts one’s attitude toward Communism, democracy, freedom of speech, religion, women’s rights and violence toward others.

4. Gender – Celebrating the Differences: A sober look at the biological differences between men and women and how these differences predict life outcomes, interests, and child-rearing.

5. Sexuality – Born This Way?: A statistical look at twin studies which demonstrate that only about half the kids who identify as gay in high school remain gay as adults. This course would be paired with another focused on the short life of gay men and the impact of STDs on the longevity of the gay community.

6. Religion – Peacemaking in a Religious Context: A sensitive investigation of the role of the Koran in motivating terrorism, anti-gay, anti-female, anti-Israel activities and genocide against Christians and others.

On top of this focus, the campus could invite truly epic speakers including the victims of socialism from Venezuela, ex-gays currently working in the academic environment, former Islamic terrorists, ex-Communists, unhappy mutilated transgender men, Hepatitis C carriers, recovered alcoholics and drug addicts along with assorted victims of affirmative action and racial preferences hostile to young whites and Asians.

#5 Comment By John C. Drew, Ph.D. On February 8, 2017 @ 12:47 am

FYI: New study by liberal Brookings Institution shows profound persistence of racial gaps in SAT scores. As the authors note:

“While it is difficult to extrapolate from such findings to the broader population of SAT test-takers, it is unlikely that the racial achievement gap can be explained away by class differences across race.”

See, https://www.brookings.edu/research/race-gaps-in-sat-scores-highlight-inequality-and-hinder-upward-mobility/

Good luck with using the “dynamics of unequal power” to explain away these results.