Black Students Accomplish Historic Institutional Changes at California State University, Los Angeles
By: The Black Student Union
Contact: Black Student Union firstname.lastname@example.org
February 10, 2016
“Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Los Angeles, CA— The Black Student Union demanded change, and the Cal State Los Angeles administration responded. Both parties collaborated, and continue to collaborate, to create a better learning environment for Black students at Cal State L.A.
In response to our demands for institutional changes in November of 2015, President William A. Covino, the administration of Cal State L.A., and the Black Student Union engaged in a series of meetings to establish a path to achieve our goals. Following two meetings, President Covino responded to our demands in writing on December 7, 2015. Although we have achieved some of our demands, our negotiations and collaboration continues with the Cal State L.A. president and administration as we seek to see the implementation, and fulfillment, of each of our demands.
The following have been achieved since the Black Student Union presented their demands to President William A. Covino in November of 2015:
- California State University, Los Angeles has agreed to DIVEST from all Private Prison corporations! The investment committee has eliminated any holdings in the private prison corporations at the direction of the President. This is a historic and significant victory for Black communities and makes Cal State L.A. the third university to divest from private prisons and the second public institution to do so following the UC’s recent decision to divest at the urging of the Afrikan Black Coalition.
- The Director of Housing has been asked to work with administration and the BSU in creating, and developing, a Black Scholars’ living learning community. We expect the development of the Black Scholars Hall to take place prior to the Fall 2016 term.
- The president has agreed to allocate $100,000 to the Cross Cultural Centers to be divided between the four student centers effective January 1, 2016. We expect this allocation to be permanent.
- Beginning in fall 2016, all students will be required to complete one diversity course and one race and ethnicity course.
- The President has agreed to allocate $100,000 for staffing and other costs to increase the yield of Black students who get accepted into Cal State L.A. for Fall 2016, and an additional $100,000 for the recruitment of Black students for Fall 2017. We expect these allocations of $200,000 in total to be permanent.
- The President has committed to the hiring of new staff psychologists who have demonstrated experience in working with Black students.
We are encouraged by this momentous victory and look forward to working with President Covino, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Jose Gomez, and other officers of administration in getting the rest of our demands met. We continue to dedicate our time and energy in efforts to improve the quality of life and education of the current, and future, Black students of Cal State L.A.
In Solidarity and Struggle,
Black Student Union
Cal State LA