Originally created 03/15/97

Students hail faculty vote on proposal



ATHENS, Ga. - Ending years of low-key debate, University of Georgia faculty have effectively killed a proposal to make the study of U.S. minorities mandatory for all undergraduates.

Student leaders declared Thursday's vote a victory.

"I know academic freedom is important to the council. It's also important to students," Student Government Association President Bart Newman said.

The measure actually nullifies the proposed cultural diversity course because the new proposal broadens the requirement so that studying a foreign language or history counts as "diversity."

Extracurricular activities such as mentor programs might also fulfill the diversity requirement, under the new plan.

Members of a campus diversity committee, who had pushed for a stronger policy, said they were unhappy with the compromise but would implement it as instructed.

"There's not going to be any shenanigans," said Sandy Martin, a UGA religion professor who chaired the diversity committee. "We really want to bring this to a conclusion."