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A student group espousing anti-American separatist views at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) received $100,000 in funding from the college administration last year, reveals an internal budget obtained by Campus Reform.
Click here to review the budget documents obtained EXCLUSIVELY by Campus Reform
The recipient of the funds is a student-organization, Moviemiento Estudiantil Chicano de AZTLAN (MEChA) which believes that the Southwestern U.S. states New Mexico, Arizona, California and parts of Nevada, Utah and Colorado are in fact part of a separate nation called “Aztlan.”
The national organization’s website states that their aim is “reclaiming the land of our birth” and calls the organization “a nationalist movement of indigenous gente [people] that lay claim to the land that is ours by birthright.”
“As a nationalist movement we seek to free our people from the exploitation of an oppressive society that occupies our land,” reads the site. “[A]ztlan belongs to indigenous people, who are sovereign and not subject to a foreign culture.”
The website organization also urges Americans of Latino descent to reject “the assimilation and accommodationist melting pot ideology.”
Individuals associated with the organization have also been linked with militant actions. In 1993 MEChA made headlines when its leaders spearheaded a riot at UCLA, resulting in a reported $500,000 of damages and 99 arrests.
In separate incidents in 2002 and 2008 individuals from MEChA chapters were also implicated in the mass destruction of conservative campus publications that took hostile views to their organization.
The budget documents acquired by Campus Reform, reveals that UCLA allocated $101,012.48 to the MEChA chapter for the 2011-2012 school year out of roughly $600,000 “retention fund” which is derived out of student fees.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life Robert Naples told Campus Reform early this week that the retention fund’s mission is to “support retention,” in part, by targeting students with low GPAs, and reaching out to students who are “subject to dismissal.”
A university spokeswoman did not provided funding levels for previous years or expected levels for the future in time for publication of this article.
The document reports the funds went towards paying the salaries of their director ($39,893.76), assistant director ($6,509.54), three coordinators ($4,889.55 each), eight peer counselors ($4,085.41 each), a G+S counselor ($4,085.41), and an administrative assistant ($3,107.80).
Despite the universities funding of MEChA, the organization’s website demands that host universities “work for our people.”
“We do not come to work for the university, but to demand that the university work for our people,” reads the MEChA site.
A spokesman for UCLA did not provide comment on the MEChA funding in time for publication despite multiple inquiries from Campus Reform.
Campus Reform also attempted to contact MEChA but no spokesperson was made available for comment.
Follow the authors of this article on twitter: @JosiahRyan. @oliverdarcy contributed to this report.
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