Letters to the Editor

UI needs cultural competency training

There is a strong need for diversity and cultural competency training for all university faculty and staff at the University of Iowa (UI). The historically unrepresented global majority student population at UI is at its highest, and with racial tension, microaggressions and discriminatory acts, these must addressed in culturally competent ways. I believe that if university faculty and staff were required to participate in cultural competency and diversity trainings, it will improve the college experience for historically unrepresented global majority students and everyone at UI.

I have found by just talking to white students that they don’t talk about race with the reason “they don’t know how” or they don’t feel comfortable guiding a discussion. For historically unrepresented global majority students, they are often looked to as a spokesperson for their race or social group. This can lead to racial fatigue, where a student becomes physically and mentally tired from frequently explaining their culture. If there were courses that covered topics about white privilege and oppression, faculty would be better equipped to guide class discussions on race.

As I am a white student, I believe it is important for every white person to educate themselves on racial issues. It is even more important for people in positions of authority, such as faculty and staff to educate themselves to guide class discussions in a productive and culturally competent way.

Morgan Stagl

Iowa City

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