Ward Connerly Questions Validity Of UCSD Agreement With Black Student Union

By Jorge Rivas Mar 08, 2010

Last Thursday, after several days of protest, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) announced they signed an agreement with the Black Student Union (BSU) to address "diversity issues" and improve the campus climate after the recent "ghetto-themed Compton Cookout" party. The agreement came after students created a list of demands that would improve race relations on campus. The demands agreed upon include:


  • Fund for three years BSU-initiated yield programs to increase the diversity of the undergraduate student body; work to diversify the graduate student applicant pool and induct more members into the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, which promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate.
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  • Fund the program coordinator position for the African American Studies Minor and Chicano/a Latino/a Arts and Humanities Minor; review requests from the Colleges to establish campuswide diversity curricular requirements for undergraduates, to supplement the requirements already in place in the Colleges.
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  • Create a task force to promote the recruitment, support and retention of underrepresented faculty; make sure that all faculty searches adhere to best practices on diversity considerations; as funding becomes available, reactivate six unfilled faculty positions dedicated to African Diaspora, Indigenous Studies or California Cultures; allocate three new faculty positions over the next three years for hires that will enhance diversity.

Ward Connerly, the man behind Prop. 209 that ended affirmative action in California, isn’t happy though. He said members of the Black Student Union would do the most good by going to churches and other organizations in their communities, "emphasizing education to younger children to make them academically competitive when the time comes to apply to college." “Personally, I think it’s distasteful for the university, under duress, to sit down with a group of students representing racial interest and agree to their demands,” Connerly said. “What about white students, what if they want more diversity? But that’s not a legal issue, that’s just inappropriate public-policy making. They can make promises all they want, but they don’t violate anything until they take action.” And so the legal battle begins. BSU Vice Chair Fnann Keflezighi said that, despite recent progress, the BSU still has work to do. “This is a step toward victory, but there’s a whole lot of work, language and charters that need to be written. We’re nowhere near victory.” UC President Mark Yudof and Fox announced on March 5 that Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law Christopher Edley has been appointed to advise UCSD on improving its campus climate.