California State University has added ‘caste’ in its list of protected categories. Joseph I Castro (CSU Chancellor) stated a desire to ensure "inclusive excellence" by welcoming all of the "talented and diverse" students and staff in the university system's growth and success.
California State University has 23 campuses and 8 off-campus centres under its system and has an active enrollment of 4,85,550 students under the supervision of 55,909 faculty members. It is the 4th largest public university system in the US.
Caste-based discrimination actively plagues US society. It has been reported by Prof. Dr Sarah Taylor (CSU East Bay, Department of Social Work) that one of the students highlighted the presence of caste-based discrimination being an active concern of students of the university in their everyday personal lives.
Professors and even employees of the CSU system applaud the students of the university for ensuring that the issue comes forward and gets taken seriously by the administration.
Thenmozhi Soundararajan (Equality labs, Executive Director) stated that the students have shown immense bravery and courage in attempting the process and leading it to a successful point. The leadership quotient of students and their inter-faith and inter-caste initiative has ensured dignified and deserved attention and increase in strength of civil rights movement against caste discrimination.
She also expressed gratitude to the California Faculty Association who under the leadership of the Asia Pacific Islander Desi Americans (APIDA) Caucus added the subject to their contract negotiations process.
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Manmit Singh (San Francisco State University, student and lead organizer) said that while the move is commendable, the process which led to this announcement is also historic as the topic has garnered the attention of civil rights activists, however, it often gets shunted around on basis of non-relatability in comparison of other concerns.
This move is expected to inspire other universities and provide momentum to the efforts against the discrimination present in society. It is also expected to strengthen the morale and trust of future international students in the Equity and Equality mission of CSU.
Source: Business Standard
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