Members of the UCLA Bruin Republicans are fighting a proposed diversity requirement with protests and the hashtag #LetUsChoose.

Roberto Luna Jr. of the Daily Bruin reports.

Bruin Republicans protest diversity requirement proposal

About 10 members of Bruin Republicans led a protest on campus Wednesday afternoon calling for students to urge their professors to vote against a proposed diversity requirement.

Around 3,600 professors from all schools will be able to cast their votes on the requirement proposal starting in late February. The new vote comes after a group of professors and administrators petitioned in December for Academic Senate-wide faculty to participate in the decision. In late October, the UCLA College of Letters and Science faculty passed the requirement in a 332-303 vote, and the Academic Senate approved the measure 85-18 in mid-November.

Bruin Republicans members also recently sent emails to several professors to try to encourage them to vote against the requirement, said Jacob Kohlhepp, external vice president of the club and a third-year political science student.

The requirement would have students take one diversity-related class about inequalities based on factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion. New students in fall 2015 and transfer students starting in 2017 would be required to fill the requirement through one of their General Education courses, electives or major or minor courses. The requirement would not necessarily increase students’ time to completion.

Wednesday’s rally was the first public event that students have held against the requirement. Previously, some students have tried to campaign for the diversity requirement to pass.

Bruin Republicans members said at the protest Wednesday that they think the diversity requirement would lead to less academic freedom and more strain on students’ schedules.

Kohlhepp said he thinks diversity-related classes should be encouraged but not required by the school because he thinks there will be competition for enrollment in the offered courses.

“It makes choices very specific, and a lot of people will not be able to get into these classes,” he said.