UCSC done crying over Trump, hosts 'People's Inauguration' protest
The University of California, Santa Cruz is in the midst of a week-long “People’s Inauguration” to protest Donald Trump’s election, which “deeply troubled” administrators at the time.
In a letter recently obtained by Campus Reform, the provost of Oakes College (one of ten academic colleges at UCSC) lamented the election of “a person who has been overtly and openly racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, ableist, cis-sexist, xenophobic, and much more while on the campaign trail.”
“We are deeply troubled and stand more firm in our resolve regarding the work that we all hold essential at Oakes. We will continue to fight for equity and justice,” Provost Regina Day Langhout continued, encouraging her students to “love each other boldly” and “be transparent with our despair, and cry openly alongside one another.”
Langhout went on to conclude the letter with a salutation of “with our hearts broken wide open and our fists raised high,” affixing her signature alongside those of four other administrators.
Langhout’s letter, sent just two days after Trump’s election, appears to violate some of the school’s policies regarding the use of university resources for political purposes.
In fact, UCSC’s director of government relations, Donna Blitzer, sent a reminder note to the entire “UCSC community” months before the election in which she explains that university employees “should take care to avoid any implication that their private political activities are carried out in their university capacities or are otherwise endorsed by the university.”
Blitzer then links to the school’s guidelines for “participation in ballot campaigns,” which concedes that while “an employee does not give up his or her constitutional rights upon joining a public agency,” employees, “including high officials,” should not “use public resources (including time on the job) to advocate a particular position on a ballot measure.”
Campus Reform reached out to Langhout for comment on whether or not she thinks her actions complied with university policy, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
With Trump’s election now official and his inauguration set to take place, two UCSC colleges, Porter College and Kresge College, are sponsoring a “People’s Inauguration” where students can “come together” for a week-long series of events in protest of the president-elect’s upcoming inauguration.
An advertisement for the week of protests explicitly notes that is has been “made possible with generous support from Porter College and Kresge College,” though UCSC did not comment on whether this includes financial support.
While the advertisement does not explicitly mention Trump by name, UCSC’s protests are part of a larger “teach-in” effort that Campus Reform has previously reported on called “Teach, Organize, Resist,” which unabashedly describes itself as an “opportunity to affirm the role of critical thinking and academic knowledge in challenging Trumpism.”
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