Tuesday, August 20

Carnesale meets with students


Wednesday, May 20, 1998

Carnesale meets with students

ADMISSIONS: Affirmative Action Coalition demands cooperation
from chancellor

By Hannah Miller

Daily Bruin Staff

Alarmed by dwindling minority enrollment, concerned about the
future, and emboldened by their voices echoing through Royce Hall,
student leaders forced Chancellor Albert Carnesale to come to an ad
hoc negotiations table for another discussion about the future of
admissions at UCLA.

In the shadow of a 500-student takeover of Royce Hall, Carnesale
had to answer several student demands, including calls to denounce
Proposition 209 and rework admissions criteria.

"It is important that you issue a much firmer statement
regarding the admissions policies of this university that need
immediate reform, and issue statements denouncing Prop. 209," said
Chad Williams, the chair of the African Students Union. "Issue some
concrete statements that demonstrate your concern for our
communities."

Flanked by administrators, police and public relations handlers,
Carnesale refused to yield.

"I am certainly committed to diversity at this university," the
chancellor said. He expressed enthusiasm for looking at the
admissions policies and sponsoring mentors at other schools.

But as to their demand that he not comply with Proposition 209,
"I will not meet and cannot meet."

The meeting itself came after an hours-long power struggle.
Carnesale offered to meet the students in Murphy, but students
didn’t want to give up their position in Royce. Students suggested
Haines Hall next door, but the administration refused.

"The students have clearly demonstrated their ability to take
over one building. Another scenario might have them taking over
another," said Vice Chancellor Winston Dobie.

Ultimately, a neutral location between Royce and Haines Hall was
selected.

Once the two sides finally met face-to-face, USAC
President-elect Stacy Lee declared that "discussions are not
enough." Students demanded the university make changes before
another admissions cycle starts. Carnesale countered that faculty
and administrators have an open "window of opportunity" until
October.

Throughout the tense meeting, – on the night before UCLA
releases enrollment results for next year’s freshman class -
Carnesale stressed his commitment to diversity. Students were not
convinced.

"At this point there is a sentiment among the students that the
university is not committed to our issues," Williams said.

But Carnesale also had to address UCLA’s history of student
activism. Alumnus John Caldwell, a student leader during the
anti-apartheid protests in the ’80s, condemned the arrests of
students, calling police behavior during the protest "a significant
departure from Chancellor Young’s administration."

Carnesale responded that "we must not establish a precedent that
students can stop the functioning of a university," he said.

UCLA admissions policy has come under intense scrutiny since the
school released information showing that next year’s freshman class
have 43 percent fewer African Americans, 33 percent fewer
Chicanos/Latinos, and 43 percent fewer Native Americans.

The Affirmative Action Coalition has been meeting with Carnesale
for the past few weeks about admissions. Carnesale is set to meet
with students Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

"I understand that there are some things that make us all very
unhappy. Some of those are in my power to try to work with you and
advance, some of them are not," he said.

With reports from J. Jioni Palmer, Daily Bruin Senior Staff.

AARON TOUT/Daily Bruin

(Clockwise) Chancellor Carnesale meets with ASU’s Chad Williams,
and USAC’s Stacy Lee and Michael de la Rocha.

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