Originally written for the Highlander for the last issue of the school year in June 2003. Some of the situations that happened on campus have an eerie similarity with drama happening on campuses on colleges today in 2015.
UC Riverside becomes stranger by the minute with how our leadership manages affairs on our campus. Whether or not it is administration at Hinderaker Hall or with ASUCR, it is increasingly hard to keep a straight face with what happens on campus. ASUCR senators want the Highlander to play toady and our administration is self-deprecating where they fund their own personal attackers.
The racism conference held in May was unintentionally a misnomer. It ended up promoting racism on campus. The return of the Down Low in “The Real” is no way to promote peace and harmony among the different ethnic groups on campus. There is very much spite and malice towards our administrators on campus. Jim Sandoval and David Warren are marked men according to the radical extremists on campus. These individuals helped to fund the slime and grime that leads towards libel, slander and defamation and its ironic that it came back right on their laps. The administrators are not willing to hire an investigator to substantiate the claims from the events that happened last year. The campus radicals do not want the truth to come out and they would rather have their own fantasyland reign supreme. They would rather have the campus investigate fantasy instead of investigating real events that have happened on campus.
Next year’s administration of ASUCR needs to build bridges due to the lousy leadership of last year’s senate. Their arrogance regarding the Highlander is immature and selfish due to their desire to make the Highlander loose their independence. It will be impossible for them to undo the referendum that gives the Highlander money from the undergraduate student community. The Highlander received almost seventy percent of the vote during the spring 2001 election with the twenty percent voter turnout. This fee helps to preserve the independence of the newspaper so the staff does not have to beg for money from ASUCR for each issue.
ASUCR needs to hire sensitivity training to the new senators to make sure they remember they represent all people not just the people of color that make up the majority of UC Riverside. Comments made by our senators last year were tactless and inappropriate during these senate sessions. Unchecked arrogance only diminishes the legitimacy and credibility of our student government. When questioned during the June senate meeting about the new mural for the new commons academic affairs director Elisa Haro remarked “I see some pilgrim invaders here” when she saw the lack of people of color in the mural. While in May Cesar-Olyervides-Cisneros remarked that people of color couldn’t be defined as racist against white people.
However, other newspapers have not been as successful because they do not serve the broad student community like the Highlander. The X-Factor tried to compete against the Highlander yet they collapsed by the end of fall 2002. I would love to see competition with student publications, but I do not believe there will be any viable competing publications with the reallocation of referendum funds. The Highlander has been the established student publication for over fifty years and has been established unlike the other publications. The Highlander has a staff of diverse backgrounds and perspectives yet they are perceived as unacceptable because they do not follow the agenda and prerogative of the senate and their allies. If the Highlander had the editorial content of The Real, they would become a niche newspaper with no broad appeal.
UC Riverside needs a culture of calm and good relations between all groups on our campus. I had enough of theatrics at UC Riverside. As a graduating senior, I will be watching from a far to find out if UC Riverside can learn from the events from previous years so we can become a unified campus community.