Message from the University of California Student Association

January 12, 2014

Resolution in Solidarity with the Demands of Black Student Activists at San Jose State University

WHEREAS, the California State University San Jose State University Police Incident Report records the various hate crimes conducted by white suitemates of a black first year student, “During the 2013 SJSU Fall semester, residents of Campus Village building C dormitory #704 antagonized their roommate, Victim [name blocked for privacy]. The antagonizing directed at [the victim] included racial name calling, attempting to lock a bicycle lock around [the victim's] neck, forcibly holding him down while trying to place the lock around his neck a second time, the posting of a Confederate flag, and the writing of racial slurs in the common area of their apartment”, and;

WHEREAS, the resident assistant explained “that [the victim] had gone to his parent’s home for the weekend. When he returned on the evening of 10/13/2013, they saw the word, “Nigger”, written on the dry erase board in the common area of the suite and the confederate flag draped around a cardboard cutout of Elvis Presley in the living room”, and;

WHEREAS, the resident assistant “explained that there have been multiple incidents throughout the semester”, and;

WHEREAS, “At the beginning of the semester, the residents of 704 got together in the living room and talked about giving each other nicknames. The residents chose to nickname [the victim],”3/5ths” in reference to the 3/5 compromise at the 1787 Constitutional Convention deeming a black slave to count as 3/5 of a person toward representation and taxation”, and

WHEREAS, “[The Victim] objected to the nickname, but was called it by his suitemates for several days before the name calling stopped”, and

WHEREAS, “[the victim’s] suitemates surprised him and locked a bicycle “U” lock around his neck and hid the key before [the victim] found it and was able to unlock and remove the device”, and

WHEREAS, “[the victim’s] suitemates tried, unsuccessfully, to lock the”U” lock around his neck again, [the victim] saw them coming and resisted by trying to push them away. The suitemates forced him to the floor and held him down while they struggled with him trying to place the lock around his neck again”, leaving the victim with a bruised lip, and

WHEREAS, “The [suitemates proceeded with the] hanging of the confederate flag in the window despite [the victim’s] request for them to take it down. The flag being visible to people outside of CVC drew heavy attention on a campus internet posting site that led to Housing asking the residents to remove the flag just to have the residents hang it up in common areas of the suite”, and;

WHEREAS. “[The suitemates proceeded with] a ploy to lure [the victim] into a closet and lock him inside of it with the suitemates going as far as to remove a closet door knob in the process”, and;

WHEREAS, “A sarcastic apology note written to [the victim] in which ‘the Beloved Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.” was referenced along with a post script that stated something to the effect of, ‘We do not advise you to ignore us’ and signed, ‘The Residents’”, and

WHEREAS, “[the victim] told [the resident assistant] that he was the only resident of the room being targeted in such incidents and that it was because he was black. [The resident assistant] said it was [the victim’s] perspective that the lock was placed around his neck to symbolize, “Putting chains and locks on the black kid” [the victim] added that he did not think the suitemates were racist, but that these events were part of, “A prank war gone extreme”, and

WHEREAS, the resident assistant “was unaware of any pranks perpetrated by [the victim]”, and

WHEREAS, the racist criminal conduct committed by the victim’s suitemates are representative of white supremacy which still permeates our society, country, state, city, and higher education institutions, even in a moment when an African American sits in office, and (even in a moment where an African American President sits in office)

WHEREAS, the suspects of the racist criminal activity should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and

WHEREAS, UC Students should feel responsible and connected to this issue because racism is still experienced within the UC System within an interpersonal, institutionalized, and internalized context, and

WHEREAS, the recent 2013 UC Berkeley Campus Climate Report is representative of the racism our Universities still faces because the study indicates a meager 52% of black students feel respected on their campuses as compared to 93% of white students within the UC1, and

WHEREAS, the Eastbay Express news site brings to light the negative experiences felt by black students in the article, “Why Black Students Are Avoiding UC Berkeley”, where the author highlights the superficial diversity standard UC Berkeley maintains through the posting of black faces throughout campus although black students make up a meager 3% of the campus population, and

WHEREAS, the article also highlights the discomfort and unwanted feeling black interviewees felt on Cal’s campus, and

WHEREAS, “The Black Bruins” viral video exposes the concerning reality of black students at UCLA because the campus has admitted less than 50 black men into the University in 20134 and has a shockingly low graduation rate of 74% amongst black men which represents the overall lack of support for black students in higher education institutions, and

WHEREAS, the recent hate crimes at San Jose State University is not an isolated incident, in fact the UC System has seen overt anti-black racism from students within the UC System as represented in the Compton Cookout5 in 2010 at UCSD and the blackface video from a fraternity at UCI during the Spring of 20136 , and

WHEREAS, the black community at San Jose State University has developed a comprehensive list of demands that are broken down into the following categories;

  1. Zero Tolerance Policy For Racial Harassment and Discrimination,
  2. Creating a Black Culture and Community Resource Center,
  3. Establishing an Ethnic Studies GE class equivalency, and
  4. Establishing Community Enhancement Floors , and
  5. Maintain support for the African American studies program,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the UCSA Board of Directors pledges to actively combat racism and discrimination of all forms within the UC System, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the UCSA Board of Directors officially endorse all of the demands of the black student activists at San Jose State University which is attached to this resolution, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the UCSA Board of Directors will each take this resolution back to their respective associations in collaboration with their black community leaders on each campus, and

BE IT RESOLVED, that the UCSA Board of Directors officially endorses the California Democratic Party African American Caucus (CDPAAC) request for a statewide review of the condition of black students within higher education in California, and

BE IT RESOLVED that the UCSA President will write a letter to the administration of SJ State University echoing UCSA's support for the demands of the Black student community, and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the UCSA Board of Directors will include accomplishing a statewide review on the condition of black students within the UC System into its priorities and will urge the UC Board of Regents, UC President Napolitano, Student Regent Cinthia Flores, and Student Regent Designate Sadia Saifuddin to do the same.

1Assessing Undergraduate Campus Climate Trends at UC Berkeley
4The Black Bruins [Spoken Word] - Sy Stokes
5California Campus Sees Uneasy Race Relations
6UC Irvine fraternity suspends itself for releasing blackface video