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UCLA Protests Carnesale's Reticence on 209

By Sarah E. Henrickson, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

Nearly 100 students were arrested last night at UCLA after taking over a university building in protest of Chancellor Albert Carnesale's longstanding refusal to take a clear stance towards affirmative action in the university's admissions.

Conceding to the protesters' demands for a public statement, Carnesale, Harvard's provost until last spring, arrived at the scene of the protest and announced that he will not defy California's Proposition 209.

"While recognizing students' rights to express their disappointment and anger, UCLA will comply with all state laws, including Proposition 209," the administration announced in a statement last night.

The students were arrested for "remaining on the scene of an unlawful assembly" after defying an order to leave the building by 8 p.m., according to Hannah Miller, news editor of the UCLA Daily Bruin. Miller questioned the legality of this move, since the building, Royce Hall, is part of a public university.

According to the Affirmative Action Coalition, organizers of yesterday's protest, Royce Hall was chosen specifically for its symbolic meaning as one of the original buildings on campus. Royce was also the site of Carnesale's inauguration last Friday.

Yesterday's protest was the third in a series dubbed the Days of Defiance, which was sponsored by the Affirmative Action Coalition.

Students were protesting Carnesale's refusal to take a stand opposing Prop. 209, a contentious law which man- dates the termination of all state-runaffirmative action programs in California.

Reminiscent of the 1969 student takeover ofHarvard's University Hall, hundreds of UCLAstudents took over Royce.

They demanded that Carnesale "release astatement of non-compliance in defiance ofProposition 209, radically reform currentadmissions policies, establish outreach centers ineducationally disadvantaged areas of Los AngelesCounty, and publicly state his opposition toProposition 209," according to a press releaseissued by UCLA's Affirmative Action Coalition.

For the first time, students were admitted tothe University of California system this yearwithout consideration of race, ethnicity orgender. Under the new policy, admissions ofminorities fell at most UC campuses. At UCLA,admissions of black students fell by 43 percentand Latino students fell by 33 percent.

When these figures were published, UCLAstudents began calling for Carnesale to take astand against the measure. Before yesterday, hehad released a number of statements which calledfor adherence to the law without taking a positionfor or against it.

Unable to get a response from the chancellor,student groups, including UCLA's studentgovernment, organized protests against Carnesaleto coincide with his inauguration.

During the festivities and ceremonies, 300students protested his inauguration with chants,signs and speakers who compared the proposition toJim Crow laws.

Before Carnesale spoke, some students wereremoved from Royce Hall, and others were barredfrom re-entry, preventing them from hearing hisplan for his tenure.

"As you know, there is a bunch of bullshitgoing on in there," student body president KendaroMosely said to the Daily Bruin, UCLA's campusdaily.

Carnesale's position stands in direct contrastto Harvard President Neil L. Rudenstine's chargeto protect affirmative action nationwide.

Earlier this month, the House ofRepresentatives defeated the Riggs Amendment tothe Higher Education Act, which would have endedfederal funding to schools which continued to useaffirmative action in admissions. Rudenstine waswidely cited for playing a role in the amendment'sdefeat. He used a number of mechanisms, includingHarvard's institutional weight, to combat themeasure.

In contrast, Carnesale has taken a standopposite that of Rudenstine's on this issue.

But the anti-Carnesale sentiment has not beenthe only one voiced on campus. Outside theinauguration building on Friday, pro-Carnesale andpro-Prop. 209 students also demonstrated.

Marlon A. Cicero, one of these demonstrators,described intense hostility leveled against hisgroup, including racial epithets. One member ofthe group was spat upon, he said.

In a phone interview before last night'sarrests, Cicero said many students are favor ofProp. 209. The interview was cut short by thearrival of television crews to cover yesterday'sprotest.

As tension increased between the police and theprotesters Friday afternoon, three students werearrested for resisting.

Beginning yesterday morning with a rally andthen marching to Royce Hall, the students issued astatement vowing to "occupy Royce Hall for anindefinite period of time."

Although scores of students have been arrestedand Royce Hall has been cleared of demonstrators,protesters' core concerns remain to addressed.According to Miller, both sides will meet againtoday to discuss the students' other demands

Reminiscent of the 1969 student takeover ofHarvard's University Hall, hundreds of UCLAstudents took over Royce.

They demanded that Carnesale "release astatement of non-compliance in defiance ofProposition 209, radically reform currentadmissions policies, establish outreach centers ineducationally disadvantaged areas of Los AngelesCounty, and publicly state his opposition toProposition 209," according to a press releaseissued by UCLA's Affirmative Action Coalition.

For the first time, students were admitted tothe University of California system this yearwithout consideration of race, ethnicity orgender. Under the new policy, admissions ofminorities fell at most UC campuses. At UCLA,admissions of black students fell by 43 percentand Latino students fell by 33 percent.

When these figures were published, UCLAstudents began calling for Carnesale to take astand against the measure. Before yesterday, hehad released a number of statements which calledfor adherence to the law without taking a positionfor or against it.

Unable to get a response from the chancellor,student groups, including UCLA's studentgovernment, organized protests against Carnesaleto coincide with his inauguration.

During the festivities and ceremonies, 300students protested his inauguration with chants,signs and speakers who compared the proposition toJim Crow laws.

Before Carnesale spoke, some students wereremoved from Royce Hall, and others were barredfrom re-entry, preventing them from hearing hisplan for his tenure.

"As you know, there is a bunch of bullshitgoing on in there," student body president KendaroMosely said to the Daily Bruin, UCLA's campusdaily.

Carnesale's position stands in direct contrastto Harvard President Neil L. Rudenstine's chargeto protect affirmative action nationwide.

Earlier this month, the House ofRepresentatives defeated the Riggs Amendment tothe Higher Education Act, which would have endedfederal funding to schools which continued to useaffirmative action in admissions. Rudenstine waswidely cited for playing a role in the amendment'sdefeat. He used a number of mechanisms, includingHarvard's institutional weight, to combat themeasure.

In contrast, Carnesale has taken a standopposite that of Rudenstine's on this issue.

But the anti-Carnesale sentiment has not beenthe only one voiced on campus. Outside theinauguration building on Friday, pro-Carnesale andpro-Prop. 209 students also demonstrated.

Marlon A. Cicero, one of these demonstrators,described intense hostility leveled against hisgroup, including racial epithets. One member ofthe group was spat upon, he said.

In a phone interview before last night'sarrests, Cicero said many students are favor ofProp. 209. The interview was cut short by thearrival of television crews to cover yesterday'sprotest.

As tension increased between the police and theprotesters Friday afternoon, three students werearrested for resisting.

Beginning yesterday morning with a rally andthen marching to Royce Hall, the students issued astatement vowing to "occupy Royce Hall for anindefinite period of time."

Although scores of students have been arrestedand Royce Hall has been cleared of demonstrators,protesters' core concerns remain to addressed.According to Miller, both sides will meet againtoday to discuss the students' other demands

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