Apologize every year for past 'death and destruction,' new bill tells SF university
An Assembly Bill before the California legislature would require the University of California Hastings College of the Law to recognize the 'atrocities' committed by its founder nearly 170 years ago.
UC- Hastings board members and tribal leaders have discussed reparation.
An Assembly Bill before the California legislature would require the University of California (UC) Hastings College of the Law to recognize the "atrocities" committed by its founder nearly 170 years ago.
The text currently specifies that the college would afterward be known as the College of the Law.
As a condition of the bill, members of the Round Valley Indian Tribes and the Yuki Indian Committee must contribute to proposed changes before the name can be officially adopted.
A June 3 meeting, however, resulted in disagreement between UC Hastings board members and tribal leaders.
"College of the Law: San Francisco" was dismissed due to the "death and destruction" that tribal members associate with the city.
UC Hastings is located in San Francisco, California.
“To us, the name San Francisco means the same kind of death and destruction as the name Hastings, just a different time and place,” Yuki Committee councilman Steve Brown reportedly said. “We don’t feel restorative justice would be accomplished by substituting one name with a horrific history for another with an equally horrific history.”
The restorative efforts were prompted by a 2020 report that examined the history of college founder Serranus Clinton (S.C.) Hastings. The three-year analysis concluded that Hastings was involved in the "mass killings of Native Americans" in the Eden and Round Valleys in the 1850s.
Hastings was also reported to have been involved in seizing "large parts of [the] land" and "financed Native American hunting expeditions" in the regions.
The college was founded in 1878.
"Hastings' name must be removed from the College to end this injustice and begin the healing process for the crimes of the past," the bill states.
The new name will attempt to reflect unification efforts between the two communities.
The bill also lists a slew of steps the university can take to make amends and includes a 21-point list of requirements.
Justice measures dictated in the bill include scholarships for Native students, on-campus memorials, an ongoing lecture series about injustice, and legal assistance to tribes impacted by Hastings' history.
The college would also owe an annual apology to the native community and "attest to and acknowledge the social justice components achieved and ongoing efforts."
The college name cannot be officially changed without legislative approval. Assembly Bill 1936 was introduced by Assembly members James Ramos and Phil Ting.
It was originally introduced in February and was recently referred to the Committee on Education on June 8.
According to a fiscal analysis of the bill, renaming the college could cost upward of $2.8 million to cover sign changes, marketing materials, and IT software.
The analysis predicts a $559,000 ongoing cost to fund the Indigenous Law Center, which was implemented in the fall 2020 semester in collaboration with the UC Hastings Restorative Justice Advisory Board.
Campus Reform has contacted UC Hastings, the Round Valley Indian Tribes, and the Yuki Committee for comment. This article will be updated for comment.
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