At Clemson University, an online “diversity training” program for faculty members is costing the school almost $27,000, and includes a passage mentioning that expecting people to show up on time is disrespectful.
The training course, which included hypothetical scenarios, touched on the effect of asking students to arrive at specific times, inherited privileges and cultural assimilation.
According to Campus Reform, the slides within the presentation presented fictional situations, providing Clemson employees with the proper means of response. One example gave reason as to why the school hopes to do away with scheduled start times.
On another slide, a character named Alejandro schedules a 9:00 a.m. meeting between two groups of foreign professors and students. The first group arrived fifteen minutes early, while the second arrived ten minutes late [and wanted to “socialize” first]. According to the answers, it is wrong for Alejandro to “politely ask the second group to apologize,” or explain that “in our country, 9:00 a.m. means 9:00 a.m.”
Furthermore, the same scenario asks employees to ease students unfamiliar with American customs into understanding foreign differences.
Alejandro should recognize and acknowledge cultural differences with ease and respect. Cultures view many things, including death, prosperity and even colors, quite differently. Time may be considered precise or fluid depending on the culture. For Alejandro to bring three cultures together he must start from a place of respect, understanding that his cultural perspective regarding time is neither more nor less valid than any other.
Later in the presentation, issues of privilege pertaining to hierarchical status were also presented. A hypothetical dispute between an African-American female insisting a white male was given an interview with a white female hiring manager suggests that the hiring manager, named Stephanie, would need to self-reflect and understand the complaint from Tanisha’s point of view.
If Stephanie feels that she was biased in her decision to interview the male and not Tanisha, she would need to contact Clemson’s departments of human resources and “Access and Equity”.
Employees who do not complete the training, being dubbed as an “inclusion awareness course,” will be contacted by Clemson’s human resources department as well as the Office of Inclusion and Equity.
H/T: Campus Reform
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