Crenshaw takes on mandatory DEI statements at colleges, universities with new House bill

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, is pushing to halt federal funding to colleges and universities that force students to sign or make statements on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

His new bill would ban places of higher education from compelling students, staff, or applicants to “endorse an ideology that promotes the differential treatment of an individual or group of individuals based on race, color, or ethnicity,” according to the legislative text.

It would also stop them from requiring statements on an individual’s race, ethnicity or identity except for bare minimum demographic information needs and “views on, experience with, or past or planned contributions to efforts involving diversity, equity, and inclusion, marginalized groups, antiracism, social justice, intersectionality, or related concepts.”

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Rep. Dan Crenshaw introduced a bill aimed at stopping colleges and universities from requiring DEI statements (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The bill would compel schools by leveraging funds under the Higher Education Act.

“We can see the utter moral bankruptcy in higher education with the spread of antisemitism on college campuses.” Crenshaw told Fox News Digital in a statement.

“Make no mistake — the DEI bureaucracy is directly responsible for a toxic campus culture that separates everyone into oppressor vs oppressed.”

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Supreme Court protester as affirmative action ruling comes out

A person protests outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 29, 2023, when the court struck down affirmative action in college admissions (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The legislation would also bar colleges and universities from using those statements as a standard for acceptance or employment. 

It comes after Crenshaw’s home state of Texas passed a new law against DEI programs at public colleges there.

The Texas bill, signed by Governor Greg Abbott in June, goes into effect January 2024 and will force Lone Star State-funded schools to dismantle any DEI offices, trainings and requirements they currently have.

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Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law in June forcing Texas public universities to dismantle DEI initiatives (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

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And last week, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed an executive order banning the use of state funding, property or resources for DEI initiatives at public colleges. 

Across the country, 40 bills have been introduced in 22 states aimed at limiting DEI initiatives as of July 2023, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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