Robinson presented her proposal to the senate of the Clemson Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG). She told the CUSG “So when it comes to this whole idea of intercultural competence, what would it look like to have a standard for if you’re going to be elected as an officer, or hold a seat within CUSG, that you have to demonstrate that you have a certain level of intercultural competence, before you’re allowed to take that office, or that seat.”
She dismissed notions that her proposal would limit the democratic process: “Well, it could happen before the democratic election process,. If that is set by your Elections Board as a standard, then if you’re vetting the candidates who are running, then it can happen even before the democratic process takes place.”
That seems a rather curious cabining of the democratic process. After all, you are eliminating from the ballot any students who object to the mandatory training. We do not accept such convenient arguments in other countries which control the ballots to bar those who might present opposing views. Iran recently did precisely that with a former President of the country. Obviously no one is suggesting that Clemson adopting the same authoritarian controls but threshold tests (other than common limits like age) for candidates has long been denounced as inimical to the democratic process.
Imposing threshold tests on a candidate’s completion of cultural training interjects the university (and its values) into democratic process to a degree that leaves many uneasy. In combination with rising speech codes and regulations, such certification as a good cultural citizen leaves many uncomfortable.