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The End of the Kerr Hall Occupation

This week in briefs, a protest ends successfully, and an East Coast civil rights group tries to stir things up

Two days into UCSC students’ occupation of the school’s administrative Kerr Hall building, the Afrikan/Black Student Alliance (A/BSA) conceded to the group’s demands—for instance, that they protect housing for African Americans at the Rosa Parks African-American Themed House (RPAATH), paint the outside of it, and also create a lounge on the first floor of the house. Chancellor George Blumenthal also agreed to begin holding mandatory diversity education for incoming students.

A couple days later, the New York Civil Rights Coalition sent a letter to Blumenthal questioning the decision, and demanding answers by the end of spring quarter.

The inquiry came from the nonprofit’s director, Michael Meyers, a Huffington Post contributor, who in his public musings is sometimes thought-provoking and sometimes a bit confusing. Meyers, also a frequent civil rights expert for Fox News, questioned if the RPAATH house amounted to “funding racial separatism on campus.”

The letter offers pointed questions about the RPAATH house, and the new diversity training. It asks the UCSC administrators if they’ve “made expressly clear that all housing and facilities within its housing and on its campus are open,” regardless of race or identity. The letter also contains some typos—at one point referring to the school as “UCSD.”

Reached via email, UCSC spokesperson Scott Hernandez-Jason doubled down on RPAATH being open to all students. He also affirmed the school’s commitment to accommodating interested people who enroll in RPAATH housing—as well as its guarantee to those who qualify, including first-generation college students and the economically disadvantaged.


STAYING TUNED

Rachel Goodman, a leader of Media Watch’s grassroots local efforts, says the campaign to fund a new station isn’t over yet. Although the coalition has raised only $85,000 toward a $300,000 goal, the crew has decided to let their earnings ride—extending a fundraiser that was officially scheduled to wrap up at the end of April through June.

“We have some really good leads,” Goodman says. “I think our team just wanted to check in at that point.”

The group got a phone call a few days ago, Goodman says, from a deep-pocketed fan of the former KUSP who now lives out of the area and can write a large check all at once. She adds that their diehard radio fan club has confirmed with the signal’s owners that they are still looking to sell.

If people were to ask for money back now, the nonprofit would honor that, although no one has, and Goodman doesn’t think they will just yet.

“Every time we get an emotional boost,” she says, “we can keep going.”

News Editor at |

Jacob, the news editor at Good Times, won the 2014 award for best local government coverage from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. A longtime basketball and football fanatic, Jacob has evolved into a shameless fair weather fan and band wagoner for hot West Coast sports teams. He also enjoys arguing with others about where to find the best burrito in town.

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