Dear San Francisco State Administration,
The Black Student Union at San Francisco State University writes to you to stress the urgency of the issues at San Francisco State University, specifically the illegal revocation of two replacements for the Department of Africana Studies. We believe this to be a violation of our civil rights, CSU Moratorium on Ethnic Studies and furthermore a violation of the mission of the University.
We cannot comprehend the logic that has led to this decision by our administration, but we can see the implications. A university that does not adequately represent its student body in its faculty makes a commitment to the disposal of those underrepresented students’ education. Research has shown that student matriculation in higher education is nonexistent when there is insufficient representation, and irrelevant education. Africana studies is a crucial component of Black student life and education at San Francisco State University, by depriving the department hires and sufficient faculty, the university deprives Black students of valuable education and resources; it further deprives the general student body the opportunity to learn from a non-colonial perspective.
We come to you in an effort to sway the course of history so that the mistakes of our administration to do not become the burdens of the student body. We stand as an organization and a community against any attack on the Black community and revocation of hiring these faculties is an attack on the greater Black community. Black Students make up 4.7% of the student population at San Francisco State University; in addition, Black student enrollment has gone down overall in the CSU system over the past couple of years from 6% in 2006 to 4.2% in 2015. The decline of Black student enrollment is concerning due to the fact that California has the fifth largest Black population in the nation at 2.16 million with a Black student population of 20 thousand which is be 1% of the California population. We are seeing systemic removal of Black bodies in higher education, both students and faculty. We cannot prevent these systemic issues if there is a lack of commitment to address them in a concrete manner.
Because progress waits for no individual, we the Black Student Union are demanding the approval of these two faculties by the President directly or by the force of higher powers such as the trustees or chancellor on the President. We will not stand by while the department that started Ethnic Studies is being attacked, we will not stand by while Black bodies are being attacked. If the CSU system is committed to providing higher education to all students, if you as individuals are committed to providing higher education to all students, then this issue is at the forefront of that commitment, because there is no higher education without representative, relevant education.
San Francisco State University Black Student Union