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Wyoming Senate pulls funding for DEI, gender studies from University of Wyoming, which includes programs for HS students
Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Wyoming Senate pulls funding for DEI, gender studies from University of Wyoming, which includes programs for HS students

The Wyoming Senate declared diversity, equity, and inclusion programs to be a source of division and have decided to pull funding for such programs at the University of Wyoming. During their budget proposals, state Senate members also made similar decisions surrounding gender studies programs.

The University of Wyoming's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will lose $1.7 million after a 20-11 vote in the state Senate passed during biennial budget discussions, the Wyoming Herald reported. An amendment declared no state funds should support any similar initiatives at the school.

Republican State Senator Cheri Steinmetz proposed the budgetary change and emphasized that funding needed to be taken away from such programming.

Republican State Senator Charles Scott also supported the amendment and said that the DEI programs lead to a focus on division rather than fostering equality. He noted his experience at Harvard University taught him that such programs, which he said pushed ideological homogeneity, could cause a "rot" in Wyoming.

An 18-13 vote also reportedly passed an amendment that banned the university from putting any funding toward gender studies courses or programs. Steinmetz argued the programs were ideologically based, as opposed to educational.

The university's DEI resources are numerous and varied in nature and include support for DACA recipients, for example. The school has mandated diversity-driven town halls and workshops, including a previously-promoted discussion on "Black Fatigue and being Committed Allies."

The institution offers a "Black 14 social justice summer" program for high school students, which showcases a black raised-fist, typically associated with communist racial identarian groups.

The "Black 14" refers to a group of black student-athletes from the 1969 University of Wyoming football team who were kicked off for allegedly "requesting to participate" in a protest for the Black Students' Alliance. The group allegedly broke a rule that stated scholarship players could not participate in demonstrations.

The summer program's curriculum includes studies in civil rights and social justice and the "exploration of diversity, equity and inclusion principles." A portion of the course is also spent teaching "Cultural Understanding, Humility & Intersectionality."

The school's chief diversity officer had a stated goal of "diversifying the faculty, staff, curriculum and programming" at the school to create an "inclusive campus environment." This included "diverse" recrutiment and retainment initiatives.

The office also stated that it wished to solidify the school's commitment to expanding a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment, which it claimed builds not only a better university, but a better "state, nation, and world."

Both the House and Senate of Wyoming will finalize their budgets for March 4, 2024.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.

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