UC Santa Cruz – Stevenson College has a special “African Diaspora” themed dormitory specifically for blacks students. It is called the Rosa Parks African American Themed House [R.PAATH]. According to the UC Santa Cruz website, “ethnic residential theme houses contribute to increased satisfaction of those students involved.”
However, a large group of black students say they are not satisfied. The African/Black Student Association [A/BSA] is occupying the UC Santa Cruz administration building with a list of six demands. UC Santa Cruz has ten colleges, but you have to be going to Stevenson College to live at R.PAATH and R.PAATH is currently under-filled. They want the University to allow blacks from other colleges within the University to move into the dorm. However, that is the only demand that sounds reasonable.
They want one of the bedrooms converted into a lounge. They want the University to paint the outside of the dorm so it looks like a giant black nationalist flag. They want the University to give someone of their choosing a $100k a year position as a diversity officer. They want all incoming freshman to be subjected to a diversity training program that they approve. Finally, they want special University subsidized off-campus furnished housing for that is reserved for blacks. The A/BSA would get to decide which students get to live in this special furnished off-campus housing.
- We demand the university purchase a property located at or near the base of campus (High Street) to serve as a low-income housing cooperative for historically disadvantaged students. We demand this property have 4 bedrooms with appropriate furnishings. This property will then be student ran and student operated by the Afrikan Black Student Alliance. We demand a written agreement to fund this project by beginning of spring quarter.
- Similar to EOP students and International students’ housing guarantees, we demand that ALL African Black Caribbean identified students have a 4-year housing guarantee to live in the Rosa Parks African American Themed House. Guaranteeing this would provide a viable living option to all ABC identified students regardless of housing status and college affiliation. We demand a written agreement by the opening of housing applications in April 2017.
- We demand the university remove the beds and release the Rosa Parks African Themed House lounge so it can serve its original purpose. We demand the lounge be returned by Fall 2017.
- We demand that the university fund the ENTIRE exterior of the Rosa Parks African American Themed House being painted Pan-Afrikan colors (red, green, and black) by the start of spring quarter 2017. These Pan-Afrikan colors represent Black liberation, and represent our diaspora, and the goals of our people.
- We demand that all new incoming students from 2017-2018 school year forward (freshman and transfers) go through a mandatory in-person diversity competency training in the event that the online module is not implemented by JUNE 2017. We demand that the training be reviewed and approved by A/BSA board every two years. We demand that every incoming student complete this training by their first day of class.
- We demand the university allocate an additional $100,000 to the SOAR/Student Media/Cultural Arts and Diversity (SOMeCA for the hiring of an advisor who has personal and professional experience handling African/Black/Caribbean student issues) permanently. We demand A/BSA has a final decision on who is hired for this position.
Some of the demands directly conflict with each other. The A/BSA wants to open up the dorm to more black students. Yet they demand that beds be removed to create a lounge. They demand special off-campus furnished housing for blacks in which the A/BSA gets to decide who lives there. Guess who they are going to pick to live there? Instead of living in the dorm, the A/BSA leaders will pick themselves to live in the more luxurious off campus housing.
Besides R.PAATH, UC Santa Cruz has special themed dormitories for Diversity and Social Justice, Outdoor Adventure, Sustainability, and LGBTQ&A.