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Coalition embarks on Days of Defiance

By Daily Bruin Staff

May 12, 1998 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 13, 1998

Coalition embarks on Days of Defiance

PROTESTS: Three-day protest by student groups intended to force
Regents to take stand against Proposition 209

By Barbara Ortutay

Daily Bruin Contributor

Next year’s freshman admits, a class stronger academically but
weaker in ethnic diversity than its predecessor, have already begun
mailing their intent to register as UCLA students.

But the fight against Proposition 209 and its effects on
minorities continues among student activists.

A coalition of student groups, including Movimiento Estudiantil
Chicana/o de Aztlan (MEChA), the African Student Union (ASU), USAC
and the Affirmative Action Coalition, among others, is planning
three days of protest and action, called Days of Defiance, to urge
the administration to take a stand against Proposition 209.

The chain of protests will begin with Thursday’s demonstration
against the UC Regents, who are meeting in Covel Commons that
day.

The Regents are responsible for the implementation of
anti-affirmative action laws.

The second day of defiance will be Friday, at Chancellor Albert
Carnesale’s inauguration. The protest will begin at the inverted
fountain.

"It’s inappropriate for the chancellor to be celebrating his
inauguration in a year where the diversity in this university
declined," said Kendra Fox-Davis, chief of staff to the USAC
president’s office.

Some minority groups believe that outreach and recruitment
efforts don’t present a realistic view of the minority experience
at UCLA.

Liz Geyer, next year’s USAC external vice president, said that
the current recruitment services don’t present minority admits with
the real picture of having to face a daily struggle of being at
UCLA.

"We should at least try to present a realistic picture of this
university," she said.

While April’s anti-Proposition 209 rally in Murphy Hall was
mainly put on by ASU, the Days of Defiance are the effort of a
coalition.

It supports ASU’s demand of the university’s non-compliance with
Proposition 209.

ASU’s other demands, such as outreach centers and programs, are
not currently present in the coalition’s demands to the
administration.

Fox-Davis said Carnesale’s response to ASU’s demands were
unsatisfactory; he continues to make it clear that the university
will comply with Proposition 209.

Because of the nature of Canesale’s responses, ASU did not enter
a discussion of outreach centers and recruitment programs.

"We weren’t able to enter negotiation in good faith," said
Fox-Davis.

The last day of protest will be a mass rally and march in
Westwood Plaza on May 19.

The rally will also commemorate the birthday of Malcolm X.

Fox-Davis said the various groups of the coalition will present
proposals involving admissions criteria to Carnesale the day before
the mass rally.

If the demands continue to be fruitless and the administration
continues to comply with Proposition 209, affirmative action
proponents are prepared to launch more protests.

"We are prepared to prevent the chancellor and the university
from being able to function effectively," said Fox-Davis.

While the protest and defiance continues, the reality is that
next year’s students are already deciding whether or not to attend
UCLA.

Henry Perez, vice chair of MEChA, said the protests show the
increasing student concern over this year’s admissions
statistics.

"There was a sharp decline in minorities admitted this year, and
students are demanding that the university respond to this," he
said.

The enrollment statistics for next fall are expected to be
released next week.

According to a Days of Action flyer, only 30 to 40 percent of
admits actually enroll.

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