Students React To Napolitano

ASUCI leaders along with student organizers throughout the UC system have recently turned their outcry into action against the appointment of Janet Napolitano to the position of UC President.

The ASUCI Legislative Council passed a vote of no confidence on Napolitano’s appointment with a majority in favor of the bill R49-03 on Sept. 3rd during a special summer council meeting.

Reza Zomorrodian, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Legislative Council, referred to the 750,000 plus non-criminal deportations under Napolitano’s direction in Homeland Security to express his full support for the bill.

“[I] believe this legislation is effective in allowing students to express their dissent with her appointment,”  Zomorrodian said.

In the same meeting, the council approved R49-04 containing nine demands written by a coalition of UC students addressing Napolitano. The demands call for Napolitano to ensure that the UC is a safe space for documented and undocumented students. Many of the demands address immigration policy and changes that Napolitano can enforce in order to make the school system friendlier toward undocumented students.

A proposal for a vote of no confidence, co-authored by Andrea Gordillo, Campus Organizing Director for the Office of the ASUCI Executive Vice President and the list of demands were also presented before the University of California Student Association (UCSA) board meeting on September 7th, however, the board rejected the vote 9 to 6.  Many student leaders in support of a vote of no confidence were upset by this move, claiming that UCSA did not properly address the concerns of UC students, given that the results of a survey conducted by UCSA on the subject of Napolitano’s appointment were not addressed. The aforementioned survey was distributed online and referred to as a forum that allowed for UC students to give their input on Napolitano’s appointment and make suggestions for the incoming UC President, however, the responses were not openly discussed.

In a statement released on ASUCI’s Facebook page, a majority of the ASUCI Executive Officers formally expressed their support of Leg Council’s bill R49-03, the vote of no confidence.

“The UCI student community in opposition to Janet Napolitano’s appointment have voiced their concerns,” read the statement, “Undocumented students and allies have expressed that they are impacted that Napolitano will implement anti-immigration policies while UC President. We applaud the action taken by Legislative Council in the form of a Vote of No Confidence due to demands of the UCI community against her appointment because of her implementation of racist, anti-immigration policies that have disastrously and unapologetically affected undocumented students and families.”

ASUCI executives also condemned the UCSA Board of Directors for refusing to take a stance on Napolitano’s appointment, claiming this move was an “abuse of power and disrespectful for those calling her dissent.”

The statement was signed by ASUCI President Nicole Hisatomi,  Executive Vice President Melissa Gamble, Academic Vice President Skyla Zhang, and Administrative Affairs Vice President Tony Tizcareño.