Students Raise Their Voices Against Injustices at CSUCI, Only to Face More Injustices.
By: Miguel Hernandez
About 150 students put their rigorous studies on hold to protest against injustices directed at students of color at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI). CSUCI is the only four-year university in all of Ventura County and is mainly made up of Latinx students and students of color. The protest was a direct response to tuition hikes, retaliation against activists of color, and the mysterious disappearance of funding designed to incorporate Indigenous studies at CSUCI.
With high emotions, students marched around the university, showing their dedication and solidarity. The protest then intensified as leaders of Students for Quality Education entered the building where the president of the University, Richard Yao, was with the hopes of being heard. The students immediately clashed with an administration who denied them entry to speak with the president and had to leave the building.
The activists who tried to talk to the president, Angelmarie Taylor and Courtland Briggs, were also the students who were mysteriously disenrolled from the university after organizing a protest against the state’s tuition hikes. But were reinstated only after the California Faculty Administration got involved.
The protest brought attention to how the act of raising tuition prices in state universities, which are attended mainly by students of color, is a direct act of violence against communities of color and low-income communities. The protest was also an act of resistance against the misused funds designated for implementing indigenous studies minor.
Angelmarie Taylor shared, “The student protest was powerful, with solidarity from faculty, staff, and community members. It spread a painful awareness that the campus administration not only does not care about student voices but actively excludes them. “It was a great victory for student power, popular solidarity, and taking all the right measures to achieve the positive changes we need.”
Even though the University of Channel Islands is a Hispanic-serving institution, the majority of Hispanics and students of color who attended the protest expressed feeling ignored and taken advantage of. Students hope this protest will bring better student housing, fewer police on campus, and justice for missing funding for the Indigenous Studies degree.