After heads rolled over a Kanye-Western themed frat party at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), several adjustments to the UCLA campus climate have been made, including suspension of the social groups that hosted the party for alleged “racist undertones” of their event. UCLA students and faculty have been fervently mulling over ways to improve the campus climate for black students, but the Afrikan Student Union (ASU) has its own plans for the black community at UCLA.
The ASU compiled a list of demands for the UCLA administration to help create a more “welcoming environment” for black students on campus.
“Time and time again, we see UCLA administration pushing our issues under the rug. UCLA continues to fail students of color, by not responding, or taking any steps towards the improvement of campus climate,” the ASU published in its club newspaper. “This university has a history of a poor racial climate, and we, as the Afrikan Student Union, will not take it anymore.”
The demands called for by the ASU include $30 million in university funding, a commitment to hiring and accepting more black students and faculty to UCLA, creation of a separate “Afro-house” residence for black students, creation of an exclusive “Task Force” designated for black students and faculty, and creation of UCLA community schools in predominantly black areas, among other demands. A response deadline and follow-up deadline of 3 weeks was also directed at Chancellor Gene Block.
The ASU stated, “The Afrikan Student Union is calling on regular, consistent meetings with UCLA administrators to ensure the accomplishment of our demands.”
“This university has a history of a poor racial climate, and we, as the Afrikan Student Union, will not take it anymore.”
UCLA’s Afrikan Student Union
On October 22, UCLA’s vice chancellor Janina Montero responded on behalf of UCLA’s chancellor Gene Block that she is open to many of the ASU’s demands, including exclusive funding for the ASU, revision of the school’s anti-discrimination policies, an “Afro-house” for black students, a student advisory board for campus diversity, increased enrollment of black students, and creation of a Black Student Leadership Task Force. She also said that the chancellor has collaborated with the LAUSD to build the Horace Mann UCLA Community School in South Los Angeles.
“I am in touch with UC Berkeley better to understand Afro-house and its connection to that campus and to see if there are opportunities for UCLA to explore something along those lines,” Montero wrote.
Ricardo Vazquez, associate director of UCLA Media Relations and Public Outreach, confirmed to The Daily Wire that the letter posted on the BlackBruin’s Twitter site is the UCLA administration’s official response to the ASU.
The Bruin editorial board responded with their own backing of the ASU’s demands, alleging, “UCLA can do more to meet Afrikan Student Union demands,” though some might take time to accomplish.
“Reading the list of demands and issuing a written response is one thing; an in-person discussion, in which the administration embraces the stories of black students and does not go on the defensive, is another entirely,” the Bruin editorial board stated.
The ASU did not respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment in time for this article. Any response will be added in updates.