by Eduardo Sanchez
On the week of October 23 through the 26, CSUN students and faculty organized a week of action to raise awareness of Executive Order 1100 to the community and to exclaim their outrage and distrust of both the order and the CSU Chancellor. Executive Order 1100, if implemented, would eliminate section F of CSUN’s graduation requirements, the section in which ethnic and comparative culture learning is located. By eliminating section F, it eliminates cultural learning classes as a requirement for graduation. We the students and faculty were not going to stand by and allow this to happen. So we took action.
The slogan for the week of action was Unnatural Disasters on CSUN. This is to stand for the disaster that is erupting on campus by the order. On Monday, October 23, we held, the Wildfire. This day was meant for people to spread the word out to as many people as possible to get others aware of the order and it disastrous effects on the campus and community. On Tuesday, October 24, we held a day named Evacuate. On this day, all students and staff were to reframe from buying anything on campus in order to reframe from financially support an administration that might agree to implementing the order. Instead, students and clubs held food stands where they sold food for their club, some stands and organizations even gave out free food to students who were hungry.
On Wednesday, October 25, the action taken was named The Flood. On this day, students and faculty members were encouraged to walk out of their classrooms and meetings and organize a demonstration on campus from 11:00am – 1:00pm. It is being said that over 300 people took part of the demonstration. On Thursday October 26, the action taken was called “The Quake.” This was the final day of the week of action. The students and faculty members gathered and marched to the faculty senate meeting which had to be moved from the Library to a room in the Grand Salon in order to fit all the expected people to arrive. The overwhelming number of people that showed up, eventually helped convince the senate to stand with the students and faculty and oppose the order.
The meeting took longer than expected because of the number of people there. Many students and faculty wanted to speak and express their thoughts and concerns to the room, but especially to the senate. The faculty senate agreed to allow all those who wanted to speak a chance to talk. After voting on opposing the order, the senate had to agree on a write up of what they would send to the Chancellors office for why we are opposing the order. This took longer than expected but eventually we came to an agreement nearly an hour after the meeting was scheduled to finish. The student leaders involved in organizing the week of action and spreading the word on EO1100 were overwhelmed with joy and feelings of satisfaction for having pulled off this great action. We are all, however, very hesitant and awaiting for this to officially become a part of CSUN’s constitution.
Since the meeting took place, President Diane Harrison has vocalized her position with the students and favoring keeping cultural studies. This is mainly due to the pressure she felt coming from the student body and its mobility against the order. The student leaders from the week of action have since then helped to organize a student task force to stand next to the faculty senate and help aid in the implementation of policies which affect students. This is so that students within ethnic studies departments can have a say in the policies that are placed that affect their future and the future of all other comparative studies students. On November 8th, student leaders and faculty made their way to the Board of Trustees meeting where they voiced their opinions on the order. Dr. Loren Blanchard, one of the members in the board, stated that “intentionally or unintentionally, there was no motive in EO 1100 to diminish cross-cultural studies on any campus.” He further stated that EO 1100 was moving forward no matter what in 2018. And, that “campuses have been offered the opportunity to ask for more time on the implementation of EO 1100.” This is basically disregarding the voices of the students and faculty and our stance against the order. He basically is saying that no matter what w do or say, this order will be implemented eventually. The future is uncertain and more student and faculty meetings are to take place in order to map out our next steps. Our student’s continued activism is CSUN’s main hope in defeating racist oppressive people like those in the Board of Trustees and those in Sacramento along side the Chancellor.