The Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego expresses its staunch support and solidarity with the students, faculty, and workers at K-12 schools, community colleges, and California State University and University of California campuses. We stand with them in their call for a democratic and accessible educational system for all students. We stand with them in their actions that shine light on the debilitating budget cuts and damaging campus climates that highlight not only the decline of public education in California and across the country, but also the ways that low-income students, students of color, and non-traditional students are disproportionately affected and further disenfranchised.
No campus – private or public, secular or religious, working-class or upper-class, urban or suburban – is immune from these overt attempts to dismantle public education. We are all directly impacted by these unwise assaults. Community colleges, public universities, and private universities such as the University of San Diego rely on public high school students who comprise the majority of incoming freshmen. Almost all college students rely on state-subsidized financial aid packages, especially those that include Cal Grants, in order to attend college at all. Budget cuts weaken already marginalized academic programs and student services, such as Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies, LGBT centers, student retention and recruitment services, increased class size, and increased loans in financial aid packages. Weakened infrastructures also mean weaker departments and student organizations with which local communities can partner and collaborate.
We stand with our colleagues in defense of public education, not its privatization. We stand with them in protecting the integrity of education as a site for the regeneration and redistribution of intellectual, economic, and social resources, not increased socio-economic and racial stratification and terror. In light of this year’s 40th anniversary of the formation of Ethnic Studies, we stand together to honor the determination of our communities to transform public education into a means of liberation and sovereignty. We invite you to join us us in this important movement.
Department of Ethnic Studies
University of San Diego