The Clackamas print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1989-2019, May 17, 1995, Page 8, Image 8

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    The Clackamas Print Page 8
Wednesday, May 17,1995
DIVERSITY / OPINION
Student Opinions on Diversity
“The plan is poorly worded and as
written accomplishes nothing. Since
ours is a college with little or no ad­
missions requirements we will be as
diverse as the community around
us.”
name withheld by request
“It seems that a huge amount of an­
ger has been generated from the in­
troduction of this Diversity Plan,
which seems to be contradictory of
the goals of the plan. I don’t believe
that the students concerns have even
been listened to as opinions that
matter at all.”
name withheld by request
“I don’t believe that we should ac­
cept any federal dollars or grants due
to this program. As a federal tax
payer I believe that we shouldn’t be
creating new programs when we
continue to pay for the old ones.”
name withheld
“I feel it is a waste of taxpayers
money to have a diversity program.
“By the time students come to
Clackamas they know how to treat
other people. It is very downgrad­
ing to have such courses crammed
down our throats.”
Emma MacRender
“I think students should have been
more involved and more informed
of the plan before the diversity
meeting and I think the administra­
tion is the one that needs sensitiv­
ity training...when it came our turn
(to speak at the Forum) they rarely
answered the questions and they
didn’t seem to listen to us.
“I was cut off when I was ask­
ing questions. I think we should
have diversity at CCC but I also
think we already have it.”
Becky Hoggan
“It’s vague, and it seems to just be
an excuse to hire more “experts”
with the taxpayers’ money.”
Tony Silva
“Sounds like the administration
•thinks students here are a single
group of white hate mongers instead
of the diverse group of individuals
that the students here are.”
Troy Bosch
Diversity...
Continued from page 7
put this together. It wasn’t done by some
one individual or something.
“I don’t think there was any special
agenda being served by it at least not in
my part,” he said.
Uris also said it is important to remem­
ber, when considering The Plan, that there
is a distinct difference between plan and
policy.
“There is an important difference. The
policy of the institution is to encourage di­
versity, The Plan is a process by which that
policy can be reasonably implemented,” he
explained.
A frequent student
concern regarding The
Plan is the goal that calls
for the one diversity class
requirement for all
associate’s degrees and
certificates.
Crooks shared his
concerns about the in­
tended class require­
ment.
“The other thing that I have a prob­
lem with is the required class for the trans­
fer degree. I know that a lot of state four
year schools are requiring them for gradu­
ation but not everyone who goes here is
going to a state school, a lot of people are
going to go to private schools.”
He went on to say, “It’s not so much
that I think people are afraid of taking a
diversity class or that we fear having other
ideas imposed on us... students only have
so much time, we usually get our 93 cred­
its to graduate, but if they throw another
requirement in there, then it’s something
else that we can’t take.... It fills another
slot.
“I know a few of Dr. Epstein’s classes
fall into that ‘diversity category...,’ Those
classes are really good, high quality classes;
people want to take them. If you just man­
date something like that you can’t guaran­
tee the quality.... I think the quality may
decline, it may not, but there is the possi­
bility that it will,” he explained.
However, Psychology Instructor, Eric
Lewis wondered if people realized that
CCC was not trying to impose diversity
training, but rather make the transition to
four-year schools a bit smoother.
“(Some) four-year schools require di­
versity courses. Do people realize that this
is not coming from CCC? They are just
trying to stay in line with the four-year
Students need to be involved too
by Hoyun Choi
Staff Writer
The Diversity Plan is an is­
sue of great controversy among
the students and faculty of
Clackamas Community. Not ev­
erybody is going to be happy with
one decision. It’s just one of those
things that is going to be picked
at no matter what.
Hopefully now, more of the
student body knows what’s going
on. I was shocked to learn the
majority of the students did not
even know there was even an ef­
fort to put together a diversity
plan. This plan is going to effect
every student, and they should be
informed and encouraged to give
the board any input they think will
be helpful. The main purpose of
the last article on diversity was to
inform the students of its exist­
ence. So, I hope many of you have
had a chance to read it since it
was smack dab on the front page.
I personally commend the
board for trying to take some kind
of action to make people more
aware of diversity and to diver­
sify the college. A big concern of
mine, as well as others, is goal
number two, part D. This section
is suggesting there be established
diversity classes which should be
required. I believe we have
enough required classes as is now.
People are rushing to get the re­
quired classes out of the way so
they can move on to their field of
study and/or transfer. This would
only slow the students down.
Making these diversity
classes mandatory is probably
going to make some students even
a bit resentful of the whole diver­
sity issue. You can’t force people
to be diverse and accept it. I think
offering diversity classes is a good
step, but they shouldn’t be re­
quired to graduate or receive a
transfer degree. It should be there
for people who are interested in
learning more about diversity
over us. Trickle-down P.C. you might call
it. I think our collective energies would be
better spent elsewhere,” he said.
Uris adamently denies any claim that
the planning team kept the deliberations
secret.
“The process has been as open as you
can have one be. There have been two fac­
ulty meetings at which the plan was dis­
cussed, there have been three faculty sen­
ate meetings at which the plan was dis­
cussed, there have been innumerable presi­
dents council meetings at which the plan
was discussed, and these were all open
meetings.
“There
has
been one all-school forum which I orga­
nized to discuss the plan.
There have been re­
quests, and presumably
it was carried out, that
every department have
copies of the plan and
that they have a discus­
sion ... I understand stu­
dent government has ex­
tensively discussed the
-Joe Uris
plan. So obviously how
Sociology Instructor
much more discussion of
“It’s both reactionary, that is against a document can you have? Where do you
any idea of change, and I think it has ele­ say, ‘gee, haven’t we talked about this
ments of racism of hatred and fear that re­ enough?”’ Uris explained.
“I can’t think of anything that has been
ally is ill-informed and unwise,” Uris
as discussed for as long, by as many differ­
elaborated.
Keyser shares similar views. He said, ent groups as this Diversity Plan, for bet­
“...Some people seem to have a fear that ter or worse.
“And I would also point out, we have
almost smacks of paranoia. I think it is
not justified and it is inappropriate. So in our institutional goals and objectives, a
I’ve tried to ease the concerns that seem commitment towards something very much
like this...Diversity is an institutional
somewhat overstated at this point.”
However, Darris disagrees. “The as­ value,” he said.
Painter recognizes the division on
sumption is that they’re (those not in fa­
vor of the plan) against diversity. That’s campus and takes some responsibility for
not true. The vast majority have different certain aspects of what people consider a
opinions because they’re unique individu­ lack of information sharing.
“Somehow we didn’t do a very good
als. I think they (students) feel that the very
values that the plan promotes are not be­ job of informing all the staff that we had
ing applied to them, that is, they would already walked through those (the concerns
like the dignity and respect too that, maybe raised at the forum) issues.
“We hadn’t given all staff an opportu­
they ’re not racist redneck buffoons. Maybe
they’re not quite as stupid as people think nity to vent their opinions on it. We thought
it was a good cross representation of all
they are/’
When questioned about the plan’s ap­ staff. Turns out there were a lot more deeper
plicability, Darris responded, “I sure don’t opinions, more deeper feelings out there. I
see it, I don’t think your guys’ problems is don’t know that they were any more com­
sexism and racism. I think your all being plex than what we were dealing with in
our core groups.
screwed equally.”
“I guess the thing that surprised me
Orrelle questions the applicability of
was the anger that seemed to be there. We
the plan as well.
“For a long time Clackamas has been got frustrated with our group, but we were
on the far edge of the pond, but now the always able to come back to center and con­
ripples of political correctness are rolling tinue to debate - to keep talking and mov­
schools. And that’s good....
“I’m glad that CCC will identify those
classes (that will transfer to meet diversity
requirements), but I hope students will not
be made to take them here if they don’t
want to. But either way they are going to
have to take it,” Lewis explained.
Although many Plan supporters feel
that some opposing views are valid, they
are concerned with the possibility that the
views may be used as a platform for pro­
moting racism.
“There’s another kind of concern that
I really worry about, which is basically
prejudice. ‘We’re comfortable with the way
things are, we don’t want any changes.’
I can’t think of anything that has
been discussed for as long, by as
many different groups as this
Diversity Plan.... • a
awareness and different cultures.
I wish everyone was interested in
diversity, but the fact is, they’re
not. There are many different
things that people can learn from
other races and cultures, but not
everyone is interested and they
never may be.
I respect the board for their
efforts on such a worthy cause, but
in some aspects, they are going
about it the wrong way, such as
what I have mentioned above.
After sitting in on one of their
council meetings, I realized that
they put a lot of effort and energy
into constructing the best plan
possible for them and for us.
The issue that must be re­
membered is that not everyone is
ever going to be totally satisfied
with any diversity plan. So, I
guess all anybody can do is cross
their fingers and hope for the best.
I hope this plan does make some
sort of positive impact on diver­
sity awareness.
ing towards some kind of agreement,”
Painter explained.
Even with all the open debating and
idea exchanging, the reality that a plan will
be implemented remains. While the dis­
cussion of The Plan has been open to the
public, and input is encouraged, the ad­
ministration has always worked on the
premise that eventually The Plan will be
installed.
“I think people think they will need to
vote on whether or not we’re having a di­
versity plan or not. We don’t vote on ev­
erything,” Wolfson said.
Uris admits that the most current re­
vision of The Plan is tempered compared
to other drafts and allows for a lot of per­
sonal interpretation.
“I think people project, myself in­
cluded, a lot of their own views onto this
document. The document is so mild that it
lends itself to that,” said Uris.
Lewis believes that this Plan has the
potential to see a positive outcome.
“This Plan is head and shoulders bet­
ter than the others. It is a good sign that
the school will open up public debates for
people to share ideas,” he said.
Lewis believes that the final effect of
the plan will be positive.
“It will be a good, cohesive, effective
diversity plan,” he added.
Through all the controversy, an inter­
esting paradox has been observed. That
although both sides seem to be arguing for
the same basic principles, in actuality, the
differences between each side’s arguments
are ironically similar.
“It is another example of how people
on opposing sides really think the same
way,” Crooks said.
Orrelle believes that a good campus
atmosphere requires respect of any
individual’s ideas and attitudes, whether
they are agreed upon or not. And lack of
involvement and comment on this issue
would have been, perhaps, even more det­
rimental than the vocal participation that
we have.
“I want students to be decent and sen­
sitive to the rights and differences of oth­
ers. I like students who are well-behaved
and attentive (most are...passive sometimes
to a fault), but I also want ,them to exhibit
passion for ideas and not censor them­
selves; this involves dissent, argumenta­
tion, often enormous conflict, and recog­
nition of irony and paradox in the human
condition,” Orrelle said.