PRESS RELEASE

Posted: May 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Contact: peopleofcolorunite@gmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“ETHNIC STUDIES UNITE!”
STUDENTS GATHER TO DISMANTLE IMMINENT THREAT IN HART HALL

A group of concerned students have come together on the UC Davis campus to bring attention to the fact that The College of Letters and Science has been cutting funding for the Hart Hall Programs and Departments for years prior to the economic meltdown and is now using the recent budget cuts as an excuse to further weaken these valuable programs. Even though Chican@, African American, Asian American, Native American and Women and Gender Studies have been present on our campus for more than 40 years, we are currently facing the risk of being systematically dismantled and homogenized into a single ethnic studies program.

Since the inception of these departments, which are a direct result of student activism of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, we have been constantly under attack. The budget cuts and student fee increases on this campus have disproportionately affected underrepresented students. For example, astonishingly, the Chican@ Studies Department currently has an annual operating budget of a mere $1,000 funded through the University, while the same program at UC Irvine receives $30,000. The bottom line is that the UCD administration fails to realize the importance of our various programs and departments. Our classes and departments differ from others on campus as ours not only educate, but also provide a safe space and sense of community for UC Davis students from marginalized communities. The diversity these programs offer also benefit the campus community as a whole because they offer a rich exchange of culture, language, history, perspectives, and experience which better equips all UCD students, regardless of skin color, for life beyond the university.

We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Arizona who have been victimized by SB 1070 and the current racist legislation banning ethnic studies courses in public schools. It has become abundantly clear that though there has not been a legislative or legal attack on ethnic studies classes in California at this time, our programs are under economic attack. This is effectively, death by a thousand cuts. Now is the time to hold the University accountable.

c/s

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