Standing for students’ rights

I truly believe the majority of students on this campus came to Berkeley to change the world, and I believe that we can. That is why the student movement at UC Berkeley has the power to make history. We have an interest in making sure the teaching, learning and research conducted on this campus is in the democratic interest its students and for the best interests of the majority of oppressed people who live under exploitation and poverty. Our campus should be the center of mobilizing the immigrant rights movement and establishing UC campuses as sanctuary campuses. They should be the center for organizing the international student movement to defend public education as a right for all. We are building the movement to defend integration and public education because one cannot exist without the other.

Through the Defend Affirmative Action Party, I aim to make the ASUC a fighting student union and a dynamic organizing center of the new student movement against racism and sexism and for equal-quality public education in order to make UC Berkeley a university that keeps its promises to all its students. I am running with other dedicated student leaders in DAAP who are fighting for academic freedom, human creativity, critical thinking, integration and democratic control of our university. We are politically independent, reject careerism and love to struggle.

Leadership means more than agreeing with progressive positions; it means taking action. As a national organizer with BAMN, I marched alongside thousands of immigrants at the nation’s capital advocating the DREAM Act, full citizenship rights for the millions of undocumented immigrants across the country and an end to deportations. At the U.S. Supreme Court, I organized and led thousands of students from Washington, D.C., and around the country to restore race-conscious affirmative action policies to college admissions and to overturn Proposition 209 for the right of the majority of California high-school students who are black, Latino, Native American, Arab, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander students to attend this great university. I have spoken boldly to the UC Board of Regents demanding that they remove opportunist politician and mass deporter Janet Napolitano as president of this university and to restore the California Master Plan. I marched with thousands demanding climate action around the impending climate change crisis. In my hometown, I marched for justice with middle- and high-school students for the life of Andy Lopez who was gunned down in cold blood by a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy.

The DAAP slate is the only accountable student leadership addressing the crisis of public education and will mobilize the means necessary to defend it as a right for all. Uniting the student movement with the strength and dynamism of the immigrant rights movement is the most important task at hand for student leaders across the nation to generate the power to defend public education and fight for democratic rights across the world.

Latino, black, other anti-racist and female students are speaking louder and clearer than ever before about the hostile campus climate resulting from the resegregation and privatization of this university. Join DAAP on Monday in 219 Dwinelle Hall for our public tribunal on racism, sexism, and hostile campus climate. It’s time to tell the plain truth and to mobilize to make UC Berkeley live up to its promises.

UC Berkeley students deserve to have an ASUC that embraces the hope, anger and power of students and the communities that surround us. Vote DAAP!

David Douglass is a candidate for ASUC president.

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  • Mel Content

    Assuming that all white people got into Berkeley not because they made the grade (no pun intended) but because they had rich parents is more of a “mythological ideology” than anything I have posted here. Why don’t you cut the [email protected] and grow up? The reason that certain groups are “under-represented” has NOTHING to do with “white privilege”, “institutionalized racism” or any of your other tired excuses, but simply due to the fact that fewer people in those groups have demonstrated the ability to meet the standards that others are expected to maintain. When the average SAT scores of black college students are lower than the minimum cutoff scores for white and Asian students, then it’s quite clear why there is a smaller relative percentage of black students attending college than white ones.

    As far as your laughably hysterical assertion that those who got in on their own merits aren’t “superior” to anyone, you obviously can’t accept the fact that those who have demonstrated the ability to achieve higher grades and SAT scores are INDEED “superior” in terms of demonstrated academic ability, which has a strong correlation to the likelihood that one will make it through the program and actually graduate. Once again, the number of students that can be accepted into a given college or university is finite due to both physical and economic limitations. If the people (taxpayers AND students) are to receive the maximum benefit from public higher education, then state-financed colleges need to concentrate admissions on those most likely to benefit and GRADUATE, not seek some utopian mix in the name of some touchy-feely concept such as “diversity”.

    Third point: Cal Berkeley is NOT the only state-run college or university in California. We have a series of CSUs as well as local community colleges specifically geared towards individuals for people who are pursuing less academically rigorous courses of study, performing at a lower level than what should be acceptable at the UC level, or for people who have been out of school for some time and need to come back “up to speed” due to being out of school for some time (ex-military, people in the workforce returning to college). Not being accepted at Cal (or any other UC for that matter) doesn’t prevent you from going to CSU East Bay, San Jose State, or a community college such as Laney, Merritt or Chabot. In fact, while attending such colleges may hurt your own ego, they may be a blessing in disguise if they give you a chance to catch up on remedial areas so you’re not attending a UC with a serious handicap. In fact, if a student is truly motivated, it IS possible to prove your worth at a CC with good grades and transfer to Cal for upper division (about one quarter of my classmates in Chem E were transfer students from community colleges) so not being accepted at Cal is by no means the same as being denied a higher education.

    Last but not least: if these affirmative action students are just as good/smart/deserving/whatever as the (assumedly) rich/privileged white kids who are supposedly taking their place, can you please explain why you don’t see many of these AA students signing up for seriously demanding programs such as math, chemistry, physics or engineering (or even math-related social sciences such as economics) but instead going for humanities degrees, in particular the plethora of race/ethnicity/gender grievance study programs that are far less demanding both in intellectual ability as well as applied effort. O-chem, P-chem, Calculus, Differential Equations and Linear Algebra are far more demanding of one’s brain cells and physical effort than merely regurgitating the talking-points rhetoric of some third-rate Karl Marx or Che Guevara knockoff who sees racism/sexism/imperialism under every rock, and indoctrinating dim, paranoid minds into thinking their own failures are the result of George Bush or the Koch Brothers hiding under their beds at night. It’s a known fact (even if you are too slow to get the punchline yourself) that these lightweight agitprop courses exist for the large part to provide a place of refuse for those who can’t hack a real program worthy of a university level degree. They provide the illusion to the poor parents of these second-rate students that their little precious ones are actually going to “college”, and not much more, turning out thousands of students (the ones who actually make it through even that watered-down level of expectations) with absolutely WORTHLESS pieces of paper and another group of clueless newbies left to sink and swim in an increasingly demanding (and diminishing) work force.

    But go ahead – whine and cry, stamp your feet, and throw a tantrum if you must. It’s always easier to blame OTHER people for your own failures, right?

    • Peter Gibson

      Just so you’re aware Mel, this post should have a few hundred thousand likes. That was on the 1 com-padre, well said.

    • Ziggi1983

      Whatever you tell yourself to justify your narrow, white privileged, racist view. Btw I scored 2100 on SAT and graduated with a 4.3 and UC Berkeley still rejected me. I’m a minority of color and given that 3 percent of UC Berkeley is black and 11 percent are latino and most graduates of high schools are black and latino but represent a small population at UC Berkeley, something is not right. Also I know many blacks and latinos that are equally and more than qualified to attend Berkeley and are or were refused. I’m not alone. I would not expect you to understand. I know Berkeley has been breeding many students to not think critically and worry only about their careers even if it means throwing away their principles, morals, and ethics.

      • Mel Content

        Whatever you tell yourself to justify your narrow, white privileged, racist view.

        I guess it’s easier to whine and cry and call me names than actually refute any of the individual points I made, right?

        Btw I scored 2100 on SAT and graduated with a 4.3 and UC Berkeley still rejected me.

        How come I don’t believe you?

  • Mel Content

    Once again, the brilliant minds who defend affirmative action think that the solution to UC’s budget crunch is to let in more unqualified individuals who lack the mental horsepower and/or the demonstrable academic discipline to compete with everyone else who earned their right to attend Cal the hard way. These self-absorbed children peddling their victim status don’t seem to have a clue that there are only a finite number of students who can be accommodated, and that every marginal performer who shows up under the guise of AA/diversity displaces a far more qualified individual who could not only make it through an academically rigorous course of study, but become a productive taxpayer paying back into the system that made it possible. This incessant advocacy to put students into a setting where they have no reasonable chance of graduating with a useful degree is peddled under the guise of “fairness”, but is indeed lunacy.

    • Ziggi1983

      Being let in on affirmative action doesn’t make a person less smarter than you. Who the hell you think you are superior to? I know many book smart people with no common sense. That makes them dumb as bricks. And let’s not forget the rich, white, privileged elites who wouldn’t make into UC Berkeley unless mommy and daddy’s money didn’t run deep. YOU ARE NOT SUPERIOR TO ANYONE!!! So drop your mythological ideologies you have about affirmative action and people playing victims.

  • Jeff Chang

    What is this tripe?
    “They should be the center for organizing the international
    student movement to defend public education as a right for all.”

    > Another person that does not understand the concept of rights. Rights are to
    not be subject to an action of another (usually abuse or coercion) so that
    restraint is incumbent upon another. Thus education is not a right, but a privilege.
    Unless, you would advocate for the forced support for educational professionals.

    “Through the Defend Affirmative Action Party”

    > You mean the use a person’s race for decisions party?

    “I am running with other dedicated student leaders in DAAP who are fighting for
    academic freedom, human creativity, critical thinking, integration and
    democratic control of our university.”

    >The concept of “freedom” and “democratic control” are
    not synonymous. In fact, they can be quite antithetical.

    “Leadership means more than agreeing with progressive positions; it means
    taking action.”

    > No, it does not. Being a leader or having leadership skills

    “I marched alongside thousands of immigrants at the nation’s capital advocating
    the DREAM Act, full citizenship rights for the millions of undocumented
    immigrants across the country and an end to deportations.”

    >Which DREAM Act? You mean the one where the tax payers have to pay for loans
    of non-citizens? With “full citizenship” rights come responsibilities. Will
    these new citizens be subject to an IRS audit to determine any back taxes they
    may owe?

    “I organized and led thousands of students from Washington, D.C., and around
    the country to restore race-conscious affirmative action policies to college
    admissions and to overturn Proposition 209 for the right of the majority of
    California high-school students who are black, Latino, Native American, Arab,
    Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander students to attend this great university.”

    So you organized students for the return to racist policies for campus
    admission rather than merit? Furthermore, all students have can attend CAL, all
    they have to do is meet the admission requirements and to be on or above par
    with students that will be admitted.

    “Latino, black, other anti-racist and female students are speaking louder and
    clearer than ever before about the hostile campus climate resulting from the
    resegregation and privatization of this university.”

    >I am concerned about the number of female
    students on campus. The proportion is greater than that of men! Perhaps a
    protest of feminist policies favoring this disproportionate admission rate is warranted.
    Additionally, I am glad that you have included persons that disapproved of racist
    admission policies (persons that oppose Affirmative action) in the your little
    group, but where does that leave you?

    “public tribunal on racism, sexism, and hostile campus climate.”

    >That sounds great! Will due process be followed? How about opposing
    counsel? Perhaps a cross examination of witnesses and evidence would be in
    order? I hardly think so, this would interfere with the kangaroo court that you
    a promoting and muckraking.