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Black students at UCLA demand $40 million black resource center

Afrikan Student Union also demands university form group to investigate ‘anti-Blackness’

The Afrikan Student Union at the University of California, Los Angeles is pushing a list of demands that they expect the university to comply with to address their claim that the institution has not done enough to create an adequate campus climate for black students.

The most prominent of these demands calls for $40 million to build a Black Bruin Resource Center that the Afrikan Student Union claims will allow all the school’s black organizations to be housed under one roof and give the groups enough financial support to maintain their programs.

Another demand calls for the creation of a new committee or staffer specifically to investigate student-to-student “anti-Blackness.”

A version of these demands were first created in 2017, and the Afrikan Student Union continues to protest to see them enacted to this day.

As recently as Feb. 28 at a UCLA basketball game, members occupied front row seats, wore all black T-shirts, and raised their fists in the air during the game’s national anthem, then walked out during the game’s halftime, the Daily Bruin reported.

The black student group claims UCLA is infected with an anti-black climate, and cites several examples in their demand letter, including:

“[In 2006,] with the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996, UCLA had its lowest recorded number for Black student enrollment at a mere 96 students.”

“[In 2015,] UCLA chapters of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi Sorority held a “Kanye Western” themed party, complete with racist stereotypes and caricature of Black people, to which UCLA did not give a sufficient or adequate punishment.”

“[In 2018/19,] Black students in graduate housing have been followed, terrorized, and told that “they don’t belong” in University Apartment South housing.”

“Instead of thoroughly addressing the incidents that have occurred, UCLA has chosen to focus its resources and concerned itself with celebrating a centennial that only marks this institution as one that has sustained an anti-black community for more than its entirety. It is time that UCLA is held accountable, for the sake of it’s Black students,” the Afrikan Student Union noted on their protest’s press release.

The Afrikan Student Union at UCLA did not respond to The College Fix’s inquiry on what they will do next if the university does not meet their demands.

Tod Tamberg, senior executive director of media relations at UCLA, Ricardo Vazquez, associate director of media relations at UCLA, and Katherine Alvarado, assistant director of media relations at UCLA, as well as the general media relations contact information at UCLA, ignored The College Fix’s repeated requests for comment.

In addition to the demand for a $40 million dollar black student center and an established anti-blackness committee, other demands include:

Anti-discriminatory policy and mandatory training with appropriate repercussions for policy infraction

A relocation of the Afrikan Diaspora Floor (Black Student Housing)

Changing the name of Campbell Hall to Carter-Huggins Hall

The Afrikan Student Union expects UCLA to properly address these issues within a reasonable time period.

“The actions of the Afrikan Student Union will not cease until our concerns are adequately addressed. This entails fully invested cooperation between the administration of UCLA and the Afrikan Student Union to enact legislation, draft a plan, and begin working on finally addressing Anti-Blackness within UCLA,” the group concluded in its demand letter.

MORE: Students decry ‘Kanye Western’-themed party as racist

IMAGE: Borka Kiss / Shutterstock

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About the Author
Drew Van Voorhis attends San Diego State University, majoring in business. On campus, he is involved in College Republicans and is an active member of PragerFORCE.

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