An Alternative to the 32 Demands

Alec Weisman, Editor-in-Chief

As you know, we’ve been closely watching the recent antics of the BSU and their allies, and we’re deeply disheartened by how thoroughly they’ve lost sight of Martin Luther King’s ideals. So many of their demands push not for color-blindness, but for explicit race-based favors.

In response, we’ve compiled a list that reflects our view of what UCSD would be like under Dr. King’s dream.

This is not a slate of demands. We will not occupy the Chancellor’s office, or plant a noose, or otherwise disrupt campus life, if our quiet voice of reason gets lost amidst the opportunistic aggression of the race-baiters. We’ll live in a world that’s a bit more racist, we’ll have a bit less pride in our alma mater, and our best potential successors will be a bit less likely to come here… but life will go on.

And this is not the work of a disembodied intelligence; you’ll see the stamp of our individual life experiences. One of our staff members is an economics student, frustrated by the disconnect between “pay people to dig ditches and refill them” Keynesian orthodoxy and the complexities of the real world. Others have sat in philosophically or politically biased classes, wondering about (and sometimes discovering) the consequences of articulating a coherent dissenting perspective. And most of us have grappled with that eternal mystery, “Why?”… in the context of the meal point system, at least. But we understand that our pet peeves are not as important as universal issues like maintaining academic standards. It’s okay if some items receive much more attention than others.

With that said, here’s what we wish to see:

• a school that hires the best and brightest of academia, regardless of race or creed or politics.

• a school that continues to respect the spirit of Proposition 209, admitting students on the basis of academic merit and personal accomplishments without any reference to race. This is in the interest of all parties; the black graduation rate at UCSD doubled after the proposition’s passage.

• a school that helps minimize exploitation by informing students of their legal rights. Perhaps a list can be provided to every student during Welcome Week.

• a school that applies its standards of taste to its own buildings, not just its off-campus parties or rogue publications. For instance, the name “Che Café” is, at best, of questionable propriety; “Revolutionary Cafe” preserves the theme without giving too much sanction to a mass murderer. (Yes, we realize it doesn’t rhyme. On the other hand, it is good enough for an etude. Anyway, we’re open to other suggestions.) It can be repainted with a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, and Henry David Thoreau.

• a school that does not withhold funding from student organizations following the rules. We believe the Koala should be socially sanctioned for its inflammatory and vulgar response to recent events. But it should not be forced to shut down, unless it actually broke the law.

• a school with transparent student government. Transparency is a powerful enemy of organized favoritism. All Associated Students meetings should be open to the public; and we believe it is also now practical and desirable to film and broadcast them live on the A.S. website.

• a school that provides funding and resources to ethnic groups in an equitable manner. There’s room for debate regarding what that entails; quite a few of the BSU demands can be accepted under this principle (and we’re okay with that). But certainly not all of them.

• a school that fosters a racially integrated community by hosting inter-group dialogue and activities.

• a school that offers more humanities classes with a neutral point of view. We believe in intelligent diversity of thought on campus, not just diversity of color.

• in the same vein, a school providing an economics education not any more wedded to Keynes than the facts justify.

• a school that minimizes the financial burden it places on its students by taking advantage of digital books and other cost-effective technologies.

• a school that enforces financial discipline on its programs. Departments and organizations should not be allowed to disproportionately drain UCSD’s resources by accruing massive debts; that hurts everyone, regardless of color.

• financial transparency of the UC Regents, the University of California, San Diego, and the Associated Students of UCSD.

• a school that respects voluntarism, not just “official” forms of social work.

• a school that encourages active citizenship by promoting involvement in student media. (Granted, since we are a student media organization, this request is self-interested.)

• a school that honors greatness, regardless of its source. We think a showcase of student, alumni, and faculty achievements, at a central visible location on campus, is a good way to do this.

• a school that demonstrates its commitment to economic efficiency by allowing students to opt out of purchasing meal points.

• a school that properly disciplines any student who violates another student’s rights.

• a student government structured to defend student rights. We recommend renaming the A.S. position of Associated Vice President of Student Advocacy to Vice President of Student Rights; this would confer voting privileges on the position, allowing its occupant to be an effective force for respect of student rights at UCSD.

• and finally, an administration and A.S. committed enough to peaceful inquiry to consider this list, despite our lack of threats.

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34 comments

  1. “We believe UCSD provide a diversity of economic thought for students rather than just Keynesian economics.”

    Let’s bring on the Austrians!

  2. I find it disturbing that Students have to fight to have any sort of free speech on campus. In modern times and the numerous court cases on the first amendment you would think that a university knows their limits and the laws of the country.

  3. Finally- something that makes sense and isn’t driven by emotional reactions! I think this sounds really great and I appreciate the sentiment that occupations and sit-ins are not necessary.

    I would just like to voice the sentiment that it is depressing that we would feel the need to call for a new AS position to defend rights. Shouldn’t that be the responsibility of all of our representatives?

  4. Gupta’s response to this list:

    “And, just to clarify, I do not support this in any way.  I think this email exemplifies how some people misunderstand exactly why there are so many students protesting.

    Thanks,
    Utsav”

  5. It’s amazing that you’ve been able to get me to agree with Utsav.

  6. Gupta seriously said that? I’m not surprised, but it just shows how far removed from reality and the actual issues he and the other “student leaders” are. It’s sad that we have to fight to get them to even seriously consider that their assumptions might be incorrect.

    And of course, nobody will take this seriously because we aren’t illegally occupying buildings, screaming at cameras, and congratulating ourselves on being so awesome and brave.

  7. Freedom 101 · ·
  8. Greg Andreev · ·

    How about instead of black/minority art that celebrates only one race’s freedom we have some art that celebrates freedom for all?

    How about a statue of MLK next to a statue of Jefferson, Washington or any founding father?

    How about less brainnumbing abstract art with no message or beauty and more inspiring art about freedom and the resistance to oppression?

  9. Can’t say I agree with all 20, but a rational, liberty-based list nonetheless.

    I really have nothing good to say about Utsav.

  10. how about a statue of Frederick Douglass, who said “In regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us… I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! … your interference is doing him positive injury. “

  11. Non-whiner · ·

    So basically you’re mad because non-white non-republican groups are getting attention and you have no release for your impotent rage. That’s cool.

  12. Non-whiner, why don’t you try engaging our points instead of making a straw man argument? Nobody here is suggesting that we’re mad because non-white non-republican groups are getting attention; indeed, that happens all the time. If we got angry over that (which would be really stupid), we wouldn’t spend a moment in a non-angry state. We’re actually frustrated with why a particular group (the UCSD BSU) is getting so much attention and specific concessions for what we see as non-legitimate reasons and dubious actions. Doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of “impotent rage” here, only a bunch of well-intentioned frustration with the way events are unfolding.

    I did want to look forward for a moment: what’s going to happen on March 4th? The activists around the UCs are gearing up for walk-outs and other disruptions and it sounds like they might actually affect a large percentage of the UC student body. Will the activist movements “jump the shark” so to speak and lose steam/attract public anger or will they win more attention and support?

  13. I like it!!! Great idea, keep up the good work, and I hope this list gets some well-deserved attention. Also, I like that these are not “demands.” This is so much more professional, classy, and patriotic than other lists recently released at UCSD. 🙂

  14. Can anyone confirm that the Guardian was actually sent a letter saying there would be more actions against black students on campus? This is still a talking point in some of the chatter from the BSU side, but so far the Guardian hasn’t said anything and it doesn’t seem like it would make sense based on the limited info we have about the confessed noose perpetrator thus far.

    Also, here’s a gem from the Guardian’s latest article:

    “At the protest, Campuswide Senator Desiree Prevo referenced the recent opposition from student media organizations over A.S. President Utsav Gupta’s emergency funding freeze last Friday. She said this was not, as the media organizations had contested, a free-speech issue.

    ‘The bill of rights in which the free speech document came from was never meant to include my people, our people, so how do you expect me to respect free speech when I was never supposed to have free speech?’ she asked.”

    Seriously? By that logic, all women, almost all non-landowning men, people under 21, etc. shouldn’t respect free speech. That train of logic also ignores the fact that the First Amendment is in fact intended to be universal and has operated that way for quite some time now.

  15. Do you believe in complete sentences?

  16. Whoever goes there on Wednesday – you will be ignored, and your proposals will be thrown in the trash. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be there (work). Nobody cares about what the other 98.7% thinks. We don’t have a voice anymore.

    Also, I would like to thank everyone who voted for the spineless piece of garbage that is the AS president. He is doing an awesome job keeping his nose nice and brown.

  17. Desiree Provo is clearly an idiot. Seriously, the ideas some of these so-called progressives have really cheapen my degree.

    get rid of ethnic studies, af am studies, “queer” studies, all that collectivist tripe.

  18. DONT FEED THE TROLLs (18 and 19, aka D and E)

  19. I love this list so much. It makes me so happy to be a UCSD student. Thank you for renewing my faith in my school. ❤

  20. About the art on campus, I agree that concrete balls and “butterfly catcher” abstract art do not connect with or represent many students on campus. I would like to see art that represents all of the cultures UCSD students come from, including Asian art, Chicano/a murals, and indigenous art. The administration’s continued resistance to including indigenious art in any way shape or form is elitest and classist. It was a struggle just to get the temporary mural. Setting aside the issue of the political message of the temporary mural, I do think it is very important to have art that represents the cultures students come from. I want to see a Japanese Zen garden (I’m sure they could have covered the cost with the $300,000 spent on the price center clock), a permenant Chicano/a mural, etc.

  21. Michael Nekrasov · ·

    Thank you so much for posting this.

    I have felt alone, fighting a mob that wants to strip this university of its reputation and freedoms. I am an immigrant to this country, and am proud to have become its citizen. I believe in the first amendment, in equality regardless of race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation. I also thought I believed in UCSD but the recent acts of oppression to individuals, that all be it offensive, were exercising their freedom of speech have deeply shocked me.

    As has the compliance with BSU demands that call for segregated space and amenities based on race.
    As have the demands to repeal prop 209 also called Article 1 Section 31 of the California constitution which states that “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”

    When those around me are fighting AGAINST color blindness, AGAINST the first amendment, and for segregation and treatment of people based on the color of their skin and not on the quality of their character, I feel violated, hurt, and alone.

    Many of us are busy with midterms, finals, research, proposals, papers, jobs, and hope this will all blow over. But I hope that others will take a stand, not through threats, screams, demands, and ultimatums, but through reason, law order, and the strive to equality.

    Take the 30 minutes to defend our university and email the chancellor, the state, the media, and make sure that the calm quiet voice of reason is heard.

  22. Montana · ·

    Instead of an apology there has been steady escalation and now the noose. So, what exactly will the excuses be for this cowardly act that brings up memories of the confederate KKK of the South in their attempts to keep slavery and the non-whites in fear? Is it that are uneducated, is it that their parents planted these seeds of hate, is it that they are live in fear because our President in the white house is not 100% white. This is what the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. These kids follow what their dullard leaders say, they listen to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards, they are young and dumb. Are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think?

  23. Montana You're a moron · ·

    Montana, you’re a moron 90% of UCSD is liberal. The Noose was probably placed by a hispanic or an African-American because they did not mention the race of the female who planted it and are not charging her with a hate crime. What does the GOP have to do with any of this? Get party politics out of your fucking mind. (This is coming from a libertarian). By the way next time you say some one is uneducated lets write the sentence properly. =)

  24. Montana You're a moron · ·

    Confirmed: The girl who hanged the noose identified herself as a member of a minority (see guardian article)

  25. ^ ucsdguardian.org is down

    Interesting …

  26. Eric Lars · ·

    White racists demand black free zone – fascist
    Black Student Union demand white free zone – progressive

    White racists say they don’t feel safe among blacks – fascist
    Black Student Union says they don’t feel safe among whites – progressive

  27. old old alum · ·

    As soon as ‘Hispanics’ become a majority of voters in this state — actually probably a few years before , you can kiss any pretense of 209, fair play, meritocracy goodbye. I was once like you, a ‘colorblind’ conservative. But I have seen how other groups behave. And white guys, while there are probably a few conservative Asians at your organization, the majority of Asians vote democratic, and Asian activist groups are joining these ‘protests’ in solidarity with there ‘brothers and sisters of color’.

    The only viable position for whites is to mobilize on an ethnic basis — Euro-American clubs and the like. Likewise, for us older folk, we need political action groups that represent our interests as an identifiable people.

    Any other course will mean regulation to kulak status, and quite frankly eventual extinction as an identifiable group in California — sort of like Indians (American Indians) without the right to build casinos.

  28. old old alum · ·

    btw you youngin’s might not know this, but Barry Goldwater opposed MLKJ style civil rights, for the simply reason that ‘Civil Rights’ took away the right of businesses to hire whom they want, people to associate with whom they want etc in the private realm. So the video is deeply deeply misleading.

  29. Ken Jackson · ·

    Eric Lars, your assessment is wrong. Black students haven’t asked for a white free zone. They’ve asked for an area where blacks can go. But whites are also welcome there. Effectively a meeting place, like a place for a book club to meet. You don’t have to be a member of the book club to go, but if you’ve read the book, it’s nice to know there’s a place where you can talk about it at.

    And in general white racists aren’t afraid of blacks. They simply dislike them. Now I’m sure there are some white people who are afraid of blacks, but most white racists, such as those in Neo-Nazi groups (or even the original Nazis) aren’t afraid of blacks.

    And regarding Euro-groups forming. There are some really legitimate ones. I’m part of a Scandavanian group. We focus on the culture — music, dance, food, etc…. We don’t hate other groups. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to bring friends of other ethnicities to our events so they can see what our culture is about.

    Unfortunately, when I read stuff like what old old alum is talking about I think of people whose main motivation to get together is to figure out how to harm other groups. While clearly that is fun for some people, it’s not what I’m interested in.

  30. Curious Skeptic · ·

    Does anyone know what yesterday’s Chancellor-BSU agreement said? Why are we not privy to that information?

  31. Actually no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of then its up to other users that they will help, so here it happens.

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