Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In light of recent events...

Anyone who's reading this has likely heard about the recent racist events happening at UC San Diego...if not, here are some sites that have been posting updates regularly:
...and, of course, Twitter and Facebook.

This has all been said before in one form or another, but really...this whole situation is just awful and a mess for all involved. On the positive side, though, some much-needed changes and dialogues on campus are beginning to come about as people talk about the issues raised and what needs to be done.

Anyway, the grad students in our department, like many other UCSD departments, have come up with a statement on the events. We were told to "disseminate widely," so here it is:

Department of Anthropology Graduate Student Statement of Support

The graduate students of the Anthropology Department stand in solidarity
with the Black Student Union, their allies, and all those who have been
affected by and/or are protesting against the recent racist incidents on
and off campus. We condemn all racist and sexist acts with the
understanding that such events are not isolated but are situated within a
broader context of institutionalized inequality. UCSD administration,
faculty, staff, and students must address these conditions. The BSU list
of demands offers a constructive model for dismantling the institutional
forces that limit the representation of and support for historically
marginalized and disempowered groups in our university. We must hold the
administration accountable for addressing the demands in a concrete and
timely manner.

At this critical moment when substantial hikes in UC fees and tuition and
the increasing privatization of the university system threaten to further
restrict the representation of underprivileged groups in our campus
community, we recognize the urgent need for structural change that can
increase retention, yield, and access. Further, the BSU’s focus on
increasing spaces that encourage students to interrogate issues of race,
ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality is crucial given proposed funding
cuts to departments and programs that threaten to reduce the availability
of such spaces. In the midst of this crisis, we strongly support measures
designed to preserve and encourage critical thinking.

As we monitor the administration's actions, we are compelled to reflect on
the ways that we as students, faculty, and staff may also be implicated in
institutional and interpersonal racism and have a responsibility to enact
substantive change. The graduate students from the department of
anthropology acknowledge that current events have incited a sense of fear
and mistrust within the university. We reach out with empathy to all those
affected and remain committed to addressing injustice as members of the
campus community and as anthropologists. We would like to thank the
organizers for their tireless work and dedication.

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