April 29, 2007
To Whom It May Concern:
As an Alum of Thurgood Marshall College (class of _) and former DOC student, I am alarmed to hear that the Dimensions of Culture Program has broken from its original mission and curriculum. Moreover, I am learning that the program hasn’t just lost its critical edge; it has actually become incoherent, and the lectures are now bankrupt of valuable, substantive academic content. The trajectory of DOC is absolutely shameful in the context of the history and purpose of Thurgood Marshall College, and the significance of the program to Marshall students.
I am aware of the recent dismissals of two DOC Teaching Assistants expressly for their critiques of and efforts to improve the program. I also hear that one undergraduate Marshall Resident Assistant has been threatened for his involvement with these organized critiques of DOC. Of course, these recent incidents are part of a long history of the TMC and DOC administration attempting to stifle and suppress the dissent of students, teaching assistants, faculty and professors about the trajectory of the program. These intimidation tactics undermine UCSD’s commitment to free speech, academic freedom, fair hiring and workplace practices, and the critical intellectual role of academia.
I write in support of the Lumumba-Zapata Coalition and their demands. Furthermore, I join the voices of students, staff, faculty, and alumni who insist that DOC return to its original mission and cease the harassment and intimidation of those who, out of the passion and love for DOC that I share, are working to improve the integrity of the program.