The budget cuts has dramatically affected Social Sciences and Humanities at UC Berkeley. On March 4, the Daily Cal, wrote that "Seven departments within UC Berkeley's Division of Social Sciences at the College of Letters and Science - including African American studies, gender and women's studies and ethnic studies will begin consolidating staff in an effort to cut $500,000 from the division, which will result in layoffs and reductions in work hours." The Ethnic Studies department faces significant cuts that will affect the well-being of the students, workers, and alumni with the proposed layoffs of Ethnic Studies staff taking affect as soon as April 2nd. It is urgent that we, as Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) alumni of UC Berkeley and allies to communities of color and historically subjugated groups, must support Ethnic Studies by signing this petition to put pressure on Administration.
While on one hand giving verbal empty support for racial and ethnic diversity, the University of California is using the misnomer “Operation Excellence” to attack the very programs that were developed out of the Third World Liberation Front student strikes of 1969 and again in 1999 demanding educational relevance and equality. While the number of students who take Ethnic Studies courses continues to grow, the UC administration is seriously undermining the program with the scheduled lay-offs this Spring Semester, 2011.
Additionally, we are also displeased that the cuts throughout the Social Sciences have also considered consolidating staff for other majors such as Gender and Women's Studies and African American Studies. We ask that the same consideration for Ethnic Studies be applied in maintaining the quality of education for current and future students as well as respecting alumni (majors, minors, those who have taken classes in these majors) who found this valuable to their education.