New ethnic studies requirement divides CSU and lawmakers | #students | #parents

In summary

Trustees for the California State University system will vote on Chancellor Tim White’s graduation requirement proposal soon. His idea differs from a state bill that could soon be headed for the governor’s desk. Which requirement the system ends up with could have fiscal and academic implications for years to come.

In grade school, Napat Maneerit was uncomfortable bringing his mother’s food to school. As a Thai American living in the United States, he went by Nathan to avoid feeling embarrassed when others mispronounced his name.

Now a student at California State University Northridge, Maneerit has taken classes in Asian American Studies and Chicano/a Studies, branches of ethnic studies that he says have benefited him. 

“I shouldn’t be afraid of the name my mom gave me, I should embrace it,” Maneerit said. “A lot of immigrants and minorities are disenfranchised because they don’t have a lot to attach themselves to, so having ethnic studies courses, you really start to learn there’s a reason you’re feeling this way.”

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