52-33-28 Protests Policies

Hundreds of students who believe that the UC system wrongly eliminated its affirmative action program rallied at the Price Center Plaza Thursday in support of reinstating it.

Students at the 52-33-28 Rally were alarmed at the decline in black students enrolling at UCSD.

In 1997, the last year affirmative action was used in the admissions process, 64 black freshmen enrolled at UCSD. A year later, that total fell to 52. The drop continued, and 33 enrolled in 1999. In 2000, only 28 blacks enrolled at UCSD, marking an all-time low. Blacks now compose 1 percent of new enrollees at UCSD.

“”It’s not a white problem, it’s not a black problem,”” said student Denise Pacheco. “”It’s a people problem.””

In 1995, the regents passed resolution SP-1, which banned consideration of race and gender in the UC admissions process. SP-1 also provided for an outreach program aimed at minorities.

Rally Coordinator Jessica Lopez, Pacheco and other opponents of SP-1 believe that reinstating affirmative action will provide a more accurate representation of minorities at UCSD.

“”We need to have about five times as many of you here,”” Jorge Mariscal, a UCSD literature professor, said to the mostly nonwhite crowd of approximately 300. “”The playing field is dramatically out of whack.

“”[Students] are not getting a good education if they don’t have people of color in the classroom,”” Mariscal said.

Participants in the rally were also concerned with declining numbers of minorities and women in the UCSD faculty. SP-2, which also went into effect in 1997, prevents race and gender from use as criteria for employment by the UC system.

Before SP-2, 33 percent of UCSD’s faculty was female, compared with 25 percent of the faculty now.

Mariscal said that Chicanos and blacks each make up about one percent of UCSD’s faculty.

UCSD typically accepts one-third of its applicants, and about a quarter of those admitted choose to attend. Last year, UCSD accepted 20 percent of blacks and 49 percent of Asian-Americans who applied. Fourteen percent of accepted blacks enrolled.

Whites composed 59 percent of UCSD’s student population in 1990; today they are just 39 percent. Asian-Americans, who made up 16 percent of UCSD’s population then, now compose 30 percent of the student body.

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