April 25, 2007
Dear Provost Havis:
The Raza Graduate Student Association (RGSA) de UCSD strongly endorses the demands of the Lumumba Zapata Coalition (LZC) to restore the commitment of Thurgood Marshall College (TMC) and Dimensions of Culture (DOC) program to achieving racial equity and promoting critical inquiry about social and economic equality. While our core membership consists of Chicana/o and Latina/o graduate students at UCSD, our active constituency and support network includes other graduate students of color across multiple departments. We are concerned about the diminished commitment to diversity and social justice reflected in recent changes to curricula and faculty representation at TMC and DOC.
The RGSA de UCSD supports the demands of the LZC because 1) the members of RGSA are committed to promoting social justice and racial equity at UCSD; 2) we believe in the need for programs such as DOC at the University of California that reflect and engage the diversity of California’s population; and 3) to accomplish this, we firmly believe that the original mission of TMC and DOC program, to meet the needs of communities of color, needs to be restored. The demands of the LZC will be vital to establishing an environment that encourages social and cultural diversity at UCSD, which is a key component of the mission of the RGSA.
RGSA encourages the Provost of TMC and Director of DOC to recognize the broader implications of the directions they take in Thurgood Marshall for
the UCSD community. In particular, public discussion is necessary to address the concerns of the growing body of students, staff, and faculty that endorse and support the Lumumba-Zapata coalition. Further refusal to accept and participate in public discussion concerning the deterioration of DOC is not acceptable behavior for those in positions of leadership within a public university. This much-needed dialogue can and should be viewed as constructive for the vitality of DOC, Thurgood Marshall, and UCSD as a whole.
The Raza Graduate Student Association de UCSD