During last night’s Associated Students Senate meeting, the Associated Students Student Advocate General Yoel Haile addressed the campus’s senators with a list of demands from the Black Student Union.

Haile presented the Senate with a broad list projects currently being initiated and requested under the leadership of the Black Student Union, with plans to eventually bring this collection of ongoing activities and projects to the attention of Chancellor Henry T. Yang. Also during Public Forum, Hani Tajsar of Students for Justice in Palestine addressed the Senate regarding an Israeli bus company that recently designated separate bus lanes for Palestinians.

According to Haile, BSU intends to make the UCSB campus more welcoming to minority students through the new proposals — which include hiring two new black psychologists on campus, gaining access to contact information for black alumni, the implementation of a permanent student activism center and holding deans of each college accountable for the recruitment of black faculty.

According to Haile, UCSB should hire two Black psychologists since it currently lacks such adequate support systems for minority students, with this deficiency due to the university’s racial demographics and general campus climate.

“The campus, as a whole, is not very friendly to students of color,” Haile said. “Our numbers are very, very low so our support services are very low.”

As an immigrant and first-generation college student from a low-income family, Haile said acclimating to life at UCSB has not been an entirely smooth experience, and said this feeling is one felt by many students on campus.

“Once [you] get here, you’re essentially taken out from your support system,” Haile said. “All of a sudden you’re in a more hostile environment than you came from.”

Another topic presented during Public Forum was a request by Students for Justice in Palestine calling for the Senate to divest from companies that can be considered supportive of human rights violations in the region, singling out an Israeli bus company that recently launched segregated bus lanes for Palestinians, according to Tajsar.

Tajsar, member of Students for Justice in Palestine, addressed the Senate and urged its members to divest from companies supportive of segregation and other infringements on human rights.

“Separate is not equal in any context,” Tajsar said. “We should all take into account human rights and justice as a huge priority … [and] divest from any company that has any sort of financial investment in [violations of] human rights.”


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Hani Tasjar, of Students for Justice in Palestine, spoke in last night’s A.S. Senate meeting, urging Senators to divest from companies supportive of human rights violations in the Middle East. The Black Student Union also presented demands.
A version of this article appeared on page 3 of March 7th, 2013’s print edition of the Nexus