Student fees help fund 'Diversity Leadership Certificate'

Students at the University of New England can earn a “Diversity Leadership Certificate” for completing a 20-hour, year-long “social justice” program funded by student fees.

The Certificate, offered through the UNE Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, can be earned by students who complete the program’s requirements, including interactive workshops on “power and privilege” and an online course on “culture and identity.”

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Students will also be required to attend a “minimum of five on-campus approved events” related to social justice, such as a lecture hosted by the school’s Diversity Lecture Series, or one of the school’s Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration events.

One possible way to earn credit is by attending a “Safe Space Workshop” to combat “anti-LGBTQ bias,” which was facilitated by the school’s Director of Intercultural Student Engagement, Richard Anderson-Martinez.

By attending these events, the school promises that students will learn “cultural humility and sensitivity,” develop a working knowledge of “social injustices,” and discover ways to critique their own “personal assumptions.”

While the program includes an element of community service, students are only required to take one day out of the year to volunteer with no minimum time requirement.

[RELATED: College offers free certification in ‘social justice work’]

Sponsorship for the program comes from the UNE Student Government, which is funded through an annual $1,220 student fee, according the school’s tuition policy. The fee, which amounts to $4,480 over the course of four years, is mandatory and cannot be waived.

The University of New England did not immediately return Campus Reform’s request for comment.

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