Dynes Listens to Protesters
Over 70 people gather at the Chancellor's Complex

UCSD Guardian News
April 16, 1998

A crowd of UCSD students, staff and faculty members, as well as several community members gathered outside the administration complex on Tuesday morning to protest the drop in the number of students admitted from underrepresented racial minority groups to UCSD.

Chancellor Robert Dynes and several vice chancellors attended the demonstration.

Joseph Watson, vice chancellor of student affairs, released UCSD's admissions statistics last month. The number of African Americans offered admission dropped 45.6 percent, the number of Mexican Americans offered admission dropped 40 percent and the number of Native Americans offered admission dropped 37 percent.

"It's depressing walking around this campus and not seeing anyone that looks like me," said Marshall senior Terry Colin, a member of the African American Student Union (AASU). "The word on the street is that the UC system is not a very good place for minority students."

Systemwide, admission of African Americans dropped 17.6 percent, admission of Mexican Americans declined 4.7 percent, admission of Latinos decreased 12.9 percent and admission of Native Americans fell 5.4 percent.

A number of speakers at Tuesday's protest said that the university has the responsibility to serve all of the citizens of California.

"The University of California is a public school," Colin said. "It has a responsibility to educate the public. The public is the state of California. The numbers don't lie -- 40 percent of the state of California are African American and Latino."

Speakers at the rally urged Dynes to adopt his commission of diversity's recently released report which urges Dynes to increase funding in several disciplines and calls for the establishment of a chief diversity officer and a Council for Equal Opportunity.

"I want stress the importance of following this diversity commission and make sure that these promises being thrown at us are kept up and make sure that we put pressure on the administration and make sure that they follow through with these things," said Kathia Romo, chair of the Student Affirmative Action Committee.

Jorge Mariscal, an associate professor of literature, said that UCSD cannot wait for long-term outreach initiatives that are currently on the table to take effect.

"We're not prepared to wait 20 years for the reform of the K-12 system," Mariscal said. "We're not prepared to wait five years for the charter school to start kicking students into UCSD."

Randy Edmonds, a representative from the Indian Human Resource Center, decried the small number of Native Americans at UCSD and urged Dynes to take action.

"There is an old Indian saying that might apply," Edmonds said. "While the chancellor may be full of thunder and lightning, there is little rain, little substance."

Edmonds also pointed out that no Native Americans served on the diversity commission.

Dynes addressed the audience after all of the scheduled speakers had spoken. He agreed with the crowd, saying that he was "terribly frustrated by the numbers as well."

Dynes said that he had broken the diversity commission's report into sections and had sent it off to the appropriate vice chancellors. He encouraged the crowd to continue to participate in discussion on outreach.

"Please engage in the constructive debate that has to go on so that we can make this campus accessible to every young person in the state of California," Dynes said.