CSU Associated students to hold protest against SCOTUS affirmative action decision
CSU students and alums are set to protest at Stanford University on July 5 following the Supreme Court's Decision to ban race as a factor in college admissions
July 3, 2023
Outraged CSU Students and alums are set to protest at Stanford University on July 5 following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn affirmative action, ruling that race can no longer be a factor in college admissions. The decision raises concerns about the future of higher education student diversity.
In the midst of the disappointment, Nina Chuang, a recent San Jose State University alumnus and former Associated Students President, felt an inner fire to act and got on the phone with the Cal State East Bay and Sacramento State University AS Presidents to organize a protest to bring light to the decisions impacting students. Since then, other CSU campuses have joined in support.
Iese Esera, the Associated Students Chief of Staff at San Francisco State University, said he was upset but not surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn affirmative action despite the negative precedents due to their recent pattern of reversing progressive legislature.
“The decisions made on the federal level will have long-lasting impacts on student communities throughout the country, including here in the Bay Area,” Esera said. “And that’s why it’s so important that in the Bay Area, CSUs come together and represent what our institutions should be standing up for.”
Chuang was saddened and angered by SCOTUS’s consecutive series of decisions not to pass debt cancellation and to ban affirmative action.
“I began to feel like the SCOTUS continues to really disregard the needs of diverse youth students in marginalized communities,” Chuang said.
The protest, named “Unity is our Strength, Diversity is our Power: Demanding Fair Representation in Higher Education,” is set to take place on July 5 at Stanford University at 4 p.m.
Chuang stated that they deliberately chose the location, deemed the “Harvard of the West” in their flyers, because of its repeated history in the usage and mistreatment of marginalized communities, which she felt was symbolic of the cause. Stanford released a statement in support of affirmative action and in disagreement with the Supreme Court’s decision.
Maileen Mamaradlo, an alumnus at SJSU, said she felt frustrated and disappointed to hear about the decisions from the court and took to social media to express how she felt.
“I’m still paying off all of my student loan debt and to see all of those decisions being made –– just felt like three steps backward,” Mamaradlo said.
Chuang saw Mamaradlo voice her frustrations in a 24-hour Instagram story and reached out to get her on board with the protest. Since then, Mamaradlo has been getting the word out to as many people as possible via online flyers. Despite the outreach, Chuang only expects close to 50 people to attend the protest. Chuang believes that the timing of the Supreme Court’s decision plays a significant role in the attention it gets.
“If these rulings happened during [the] school year, students will be rioting and protesting…. But the fact is that students aren’t together right now –– we’re not together in our community to understand or hear the news about what’s going on in our community,” Chuang said.
Chuang remains optimistic about the rally and bringing awareness to the issue. There have been studies made supporting her initiative to protest. In 1996, California banned affirmative action seeing a 40% decrease in enrollment among Black and Latino students at prestigious colleges like UCLA and UC Berkeley.
A more recent study by UC Berkeley found that Black and Latino students were more discouraged from applying to primarily white institutions. Despite spending millions in outreach, California schools struggled to reach a diverse student body.
“…. This is also a gathering of community, a gathering of students of color to really unite in one voice against what is going on,” Chuang said.
Chuang is currently in the works of planning a similar rally at the Capitol in Sacramento.