Approximately 30 minority students (and some non-minority supporters) have taken over the UCLA admissions office this Friday afternoon, refusing to leave until the university agrees to admit at least twice as many minority applicants.
That's obviously not going to happen, but they get an A for effort! The group of protesters, which appears to have been organized by a minority-rights org called BAMN, is raising all hell in 1147 Murphy Hall...
... squishing themselves into the too-small space and waving their signs around as awkward admissions employees look on.
According to BAMN's blog, the occupation began around 3:15 p.m., and was still going strong over an hour later at 4:30 p.m.
And around 5:10, poli-sci sophomore Jillian Beck Tweeted: "Apologies, my phone died but I'm back. Protesters still in #UCLA admissions office, have been here for almost two hours." [Update: It should be noted that Beck was Tweeting from the scene as a reporter for UCLA's student newspaper, the Daily Bruin.]
She reports that UC police are waiting outside the office, saying they "hope protesters leave on their own" before it closes at 6 p.m.
After that, depending on how stubborn the occupiers, they could be forcibly removed. (We've contacted the university for more on how officials plan to deal.)
In a press release for the action, BAMN wrote that "a number of underrepresented minority students, all with outstanding academic records, are still fighting for their admission." A couple heartbreaking examples:
Jackie Partida, a Chicana transfer student from Pasadena Community College who watched her father get deported back to Mexico. She is is fighting for herself and all undocumented and minority students. She is an outspoken leader at her college who is building a new civil rights and immigrant rights movement.
Jordan Martinez, a Latino student from Westchester High School who suffered the tragic loss of his sister when she was shot and died in his arms, and who himself survived getting shot in the projects of Los Angeles. He travels across the city by bus to get the best possible education so that he can empower himself and his community.
Proposition 209, passed by California voters in 1996, prevents the University of California system from considering race in the admissions process -- but that hasn't stopped activists from trying to find a way around the law.
"The millions of Latinos and immigrants who are the backbone this city and of California, and their sons and daughters like me, deserve to get the best public university education in this state," says UCLA student Margarita Gamino in the BAMN presser.
To add insult to injury, a proposed diversity requirement for all UCLA undergrads was voted down by faculty today.
Only thing left to do? Occupy.