Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
VCU drops ‘racial literacy’ requirement

Two pass/fail courses that qualify cannot hold all 5,000 students

Virginia Commonwealth University dropped its “racial literacy” class requirement because the school said it does not have enough instructors to provide qualifying courses to the incoming 5,000 freshmen and transfer students.

“The university needs more courses, and more course sections, to offer before this requirement can be fully implemented,” the provost stated in a July 31 message to the university community. “When you consider the typical number of entering, first-time students and transfer students, VCU has an annual need of approximately 5,000 student seats.”

“We cannot, in good faith, require of students something they have no opportunity to meet,” Provost Fotis Sotiropoulos stated.

The requirement came from student activism following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers in May 2020.

The University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee “adopted the racial literacy requirement with an intention to develop and approve courses across the university’s academic units students could take to meet the requirement, which was to begin in the fall of 2023,” the provost stated in his message.

“To date, only two such courses have been created and are being offered currently: CSIJ 200 Introduction to Race and Racism in the United States and AMST 216 Reading Race,” Provost Sotiropoulos noted. “These classes are still available, just not mandatory.”

Both courses are pass/fail.

CSIJ “applies an intersectional lens to examine how race interlocks with other systems of power,” according to the university description. “Reflecting the diverse faculty and students who co-created it, this course will draw from a variety of scholarly disciplines spanning the humanities and the social, natural and applied sciences to explore these issues and to help students understand how racism operates in the U.S.”

Students will take that class online. Each class is only 50 minutes long but qualifies for a full three credits.

“Reading Race” is an “inquiry into the origins and evolution of race and racism through diverse literary and cultural texts.” The courses will “examine the historical and current structures that sustain racial inequities and that explore efforts to challenge and address such inequities,” according to the class description.

MORE: SUNY adds mandatory social justice DEI class for graduation

IMAGE: Ekkapon/Shutterstock.com/College Fix Edit

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.