So, before Ward Connerly gets the chance to interpret for the world the agreements set up with UCSD’s faculty, senior administration, and students – we thought we’d break it down for you!
It should be noted this interpretation comes off the points that were released as part in the UCSD news/press release, and how the agreements were described there, and is limited to knowledge of UCSD’s background that is held by the Office of the Student Regent.
Fund for three years BSU-initiated yield programs to increase the diversity of the undergraduate student body; work to diversify the graduate student applicant pool and induct more members into the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, which promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. “Yield Programs” are particularly important to increasing the diversity of undergraduate student body. “Yield Rate” is the percentage of students who have been accepted by UCSD and actually end up attending the campus. So if a student gets accepted by UCSD, but then decides to attend UC Irvine (Zot, Zot), then they are not part of UCSD’s yield. UCSD has particular issues with yield for African American students, they accept a good number of students, but very very few African American students actually say yes back. Yield programs have been proven to increase the yield rate of students of color, by letting potential students know about the communities available, resources necessary, etc.etc.
Fund the program coordinator position for the African American Studies Minor and Chicano/a Latino/a Arts and Humanities Minor; review requests from the Colleges to establish campuswide diversity curricular requirements for undergraduates, to supplement the requirements already in place in the Colleges. I’ve heard the minor has been a long fought battle at UCSD – one of the theories of campus diversity is that it must be reflected in the curriculum as well as the student body. To have a strong African American Studies Minor and Chicana/o Latina/o Arts and Humanities Minor is to show that underrepresented minorities have academic spaces from which to explore their histories and identities. Diversity curriculum requirements would include “diversity classes” (ethnic studies, for example) in the breadth or GE requirements for the schools.
Identify appropriate places on campus for the display of outdoor and/or indoor, permanent and/or rotating art representative of underrepresented minority communities; extend the exhibition of the Chicano Legacy mural so that it can be made permanent. There has been a lot of attention at UCSD that there aren’t many outdoor/indoor structures that really make students of color like they’re a part of the campus. For instance, at UCI, we have rotating art around the Student Center, that often include artists of color and works that address social justice issues. To have more art/structures around campus would increase the safety and inclusiveness in campus climate.
Create a task force to promote the recruitment, support and retention of underrepresented faculty; make sure that all faculty searches adhere to best practices on diversity considerations; as funding becomes available, reactivate six unfilled faculty positions dedicated to African Diaspora, Indigenous Studies or California Cultures; allocate three new faculty positions over the next three years for hires that will enhance diversity. It’s hard to deemphasize how important faculty diversity is to a campus. Faculty diversity creates a worldly understanding among all students about working and learning with people from different backgrounds. Also, it allows for students of color to find mentors who have similar experiences in academia as they do. Often, we see a huge fallout of students of color between undergraduate -> graduate school -> professorship because these populations have very few leaders, role models, mentors, and guides through these challenging environments.
Match funds from student fees for Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Service (SPACES), where students collaborate to achieve greater educational equity; meet with students to determine details for African American, Native American and Chicano Resource Centers, and assess patterns of use for these resources; ensure continued supplemental funding for the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS), a learning center at UC San Diego, for the 2010-11 academic year; establish a new Campus Climate Commission to examine the campus climate and the university’s diversity-related efforts, and make additional recommendations for future action; consider additional resources for diversity efforts as part of the Campus Climate Commission that is being established. This is a huge agreement with a lot of different parts. The first part talks about SPACES – which is the outreach/recruitment unit at UCSD that works with doing high school outreach and recruitment for students of color, run by students. They’re actually funded from student fee referendum money – a large part of their budget students had to vote to pay for. The campus gains a great benefit from their existence, but they’ve had funding difficulties for a very long time. The resource centers and OASIS is a second part – this one deals with retention for students of color on campus. The final part deals with a campus climate issue – campus climate is a more difficult issue because let’s less quantifiable, but incredibly important to ensuring tolerance/acceptance/diversity on campus. It measures whether students feel safe and accepted on their campus, and whether there could be more significant/effective changes the University could make.
Work with interested faculty members to establish an Organized Research Unit (ORU) or Center related to African American, Chicano and Native American-indigenous communities; rewrite the Student Code of Conduct, requiring students to adhere to the Principles of Community to the maximum extent permitted by the First Amendment; identify suitable naming opportunities for colleges and buildings, and review the naming processes; continue to engage both the Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee, the U.S. Department of Interior, and the UC San Diego faculty in seeking resolution to the disposition of human remains found as a result of University House excavation efforts. An establishment of a Center or Organized Research Unit for indigenous communities is a huge effort, and seeks to fulfill the UC’s research and public service misssions – by doing research that is helpful and applicable to the surrounding communities of color, and communities around the state. The second part of the recommendation also reaffirms the principles of community to extent allowed by free speech regulations by the Constitution. Naming opportunities for buildings would examine if there are ways to establish building names that are reflective of the diversity UCSD would like to achieve – this is similar to the art/structure agreement. The final part of this agreement has a lot of history behind it and is very difficult to explain, but in the building of University House at UCSD, human remains of the Kumeyaay tribe where found, and taken by the UC. The tribe (Cultural Repatraiation Committee) has been asking for the remains back for a long time now, and those processes are still underway.
Hope this breakdown helps! Please feel free to leave comments that edit our breakdown if we got anything wrong, or there are better explanations of certain things, and we’ll add it!