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Connerly Questions Validity Of UCSD Agreement With Black Student Union

The former University of California regent who led the effort to remove race from consideration for admission to public colleges said today he will review an agreement by UC San Diego and its Black Student Union to see if it violates the state constitution.

Ward Connerly, the founder and president of the Sacramento-based American Civil Rights Institute, helped win passage of Proposition 209 in 1996. The measure banned the consideration of race, sex and ethnicity in campus admissions.

Thursday's UCSD agreement was an attempt to ease racial tensions on campus stemming from a party during Black History Month. Concerns were inflamed by a program on the student-run TV station that defended the party, using racially insensitive language, and the discovery of a noose and a crudely formed Ku Klux Klan-style hood on campus.

Among the provisions of the deal were university funding of Black Student Union programs designed to increase minority admissions.

It is OK for Chancellor Marye Anne Fox to spend money for the BSU to seek more minority applicants, said Connerly, who is black.

"It doesn't sound like she's limiting herself to that," said Connerly, who wants to get a copy of the agreement so his knowledge is not limited to media reports.

Several lawyers are also looking into the deal, he said.

The Black Student Union held several on-campus rallies after the early-February party, but leaders of the group said they were more concerned about an ingrained institutional racism at UCSD.

Blacks make up just 2 percent of the student body at the La Jolla campus.

"There just aren't enough black kids who are academically prepared to go to UC San Diego," Connerly said.

He said members of the Black Student Union would do the most good by going to churches and other organizations in their communities, emphasizing education to younger children to make them academically competitive when the time comes to apply to college.

There are numerous opportunities for publicly funded higher education in California -- including other UC campuses, the California State University system and community colleges -- so minority students don't need to limit themselves to selective schools like UCSD, he said.

It doesn't matter if a college is 100 percent black or 0 percent black, college admissions have to adhere to the standards that have been set forth, he said.

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | March 6, 2010 at 7:09 p.m. ― 7 years ago

As many students noticed already, this is going to be an interesting battle of the money pots. A former regent suing UCSD during a budget crisis using his money that got him into his office to protect the pots of money that gets other regents in office...hmmm, that'll be fun to watch.


Connerly attained his Regents position after donating $73,000 to the election campaign of Republican Pete Wilson, who as governor appointed Connerly to the Board of Regents on March 1, 1993, and whose political protégé Connerly is.

As president and spokesperson of ACRI and ACRC, Connerly earns an additional $400,000/year. [Sacramento Bee, "Connerly’s Crusading is Paying Off," June 26, 2003]

He has received at least $100,000 from Joseph Coors of the Coors Corporation and nearly $2 million from other sources to spend on Proposition 54 (the "Racial Privacy Initiative"). [Ann Arbor News, July 27, 2003]

In July 2003, Connerly raised Resolution 38 before the UC Regents, to ban minority and LGBT-themed student orientations and graduation ceremonies. The motion failed.

Proposition 209 has resulted in severe drops in black, Chicano, Latino, and Native American enrollment in the University of California’s top schools and graduate schools. In the Fall 2003 freshman class, only 315 (3.6%) black, 771 (8.8%) Chicano, 262 (3.0%) Latino, and 51 (0.6%) Native American students were admitted to UC-Berkeley (out of 8,796. For Fall 1995, before the end of affirmative action, 623 (7.1%) black, 1172 (13.3%) Chicano 338, (3.8%) Latino, and 142 (1.6%) Native American students were admitted to UC-Berkeley. [UC-Berkeley Office of Student Research] In 2002, these groups comprised 41.6% of California’s high school graduates. [California Department of Education] In Fall 2002, only one black first-year student enrolled at UC-Irvine medical school, and only two black first-year students at UC-Davis and UC-San Diego medical schools. [UC Office of the President]

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Avatar for user 'aarondimsdale'

aarondimsdale | March 7, 2010 at 2:10 a.m. ― 7 years ago

Connerly shows the magnitude of his ignorance here. UCSD accepts more black students than UCLA or Berkeley, and this despite the fact that they are not allowed to take race or quality-of-high-school into account. They mostly choose to go somewhere else, because UCSD is a racist institution with a toxic campus climate. That's what the BSU has been talking about. Of course, like most racists, Connerly is ignoring the actual content of the discussion and replacing it with his ignorant assumptions about what black students say and do about racism. The fact that he himself is black makes this process a little hard to wrap our heads around, but not substantially different.

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Avatar for user 'aarondimsdale'

aarondimsdale | March 7, 2010 at 2:32 a.m. ― 7 years ago

By the way, even if UCSD were short of "black kids who are academically prepared", as Connerly puts it, that might have something to do with the fact that many high schools in black communities don't even offer all of the courses required to apply to a UC school. What an interesting coincidence, eh?

"He said members of the Black Student Union would do the most good by going to churches and other organizations in their communities, emphasizing education to younger children to make them academically competitive when the time comes to apply to college."

This is yet another example of victim-blaming. Black students, on top of already doing the administration's work for them in yield and retention, are now supposed to solve the problems of systemic racism by going to church and telling kids to study hard. Of course, it doesn't matter how hard they study if there aren't enough books or teachers and they will never be offered the classes they need. But according to Connerly, we ought to just ignore these systemic inequalities and blame individual black children for not caring enough about school, as if that's the problem.

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