Black university group demands $40M endowment and “free housing”

After an old photo surfaced of its student body president throwing a gang sign, UCLA’s Afrikan Student Union (ASU) sent an open letter to administrators in mid-May with a list of demands, as compensation for incidents they deemed racially insensitive.

“Black students at UCLA are consistently made the targets of racist attacks by fellow students, faculty, and administration,” the ASU writes. “Unfortunately, on April 30, 2017, a photo was released depicting the USAC [Student Body] President holding gang signs.”

The accused USAC President Danny Siegel has since apologized repeatedly for the photo, saying “this is a result of my white privilege.”

ASU cited another example of racism when a fraternity held a “Kanye Western” theme party in 2015, during which attendees dressed in baggy clothes or wore padded bottoms to emulate Kim Kardashian.

“Since nothing has been done in recent years, the Afrikan Student Union is DEMANDING that UCLA administrators work with black students towards the development of a more positive campus climate,” the black activist group writes.

HeatStreet reports the letter included an 8-point list of these demands:

  • A $40 million endowment to fund “a comprehensive effort to address the underrepresentation of African-American students, faculty, and staff.”

  • “A physical location on campus to house the Afrikan Student Union Projects,” which would include “meeting/gathering/safe spaces” and be staffed by a director and an office manager.

  • “Deliver an anti-discrimination policy [that] assuages discriminatory and offensive behavior,” specifically “culturally insensitive” behavior, in conjunction with implementing mandatory “Cultural Awareness training” for all incoming students, faculty and staff members, and campus police officers.

  • Establish the position of a Black Student Financial Aid Officer to “advocate for financial aid for previously dismissed students.”

  • Access to “disaggregated data for African American students enrolled [in] UCLA,” meaning the academic performance of black students would be evaluated independently of data collected from the rest of the student body.

  • Guarantee four years of free housing for black students because housing is difficult for black students due to “low socio-economic status, difficulty of navigating the first generation college experience, and difficulties remaining financially stable amidst the rising living costs in Westwood.”

  • A minimum of five “fully funded student positions” with “bi-weekly salaries of at least $15/hour.”

  • A “special admissions” program to admit “a limited number of students fitting certain alternative admissions criteria,” who would then undergo a “transitional period” before being “integrated [into the] regular admitted student population., courses, and curricular programs.”

ASU Chair Alicia Frison told The Daily Bruin they are giving UCLA until May 18 to respond to their demands and to meet with Chancellor Gene Block.

There is no word yet on whether the University has met ASU’s demands.

UCLA spokesperson Brian Haas issued a statement last week that administrators were still reviewing the letter. He also claimed the university has actively improved its anti-discrimination procedures in recent years.

H/T: DailyWire, Campus Reform

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