Chartered Student Organization Leaders
April 12, 2017
Dear Santa Clara University Administration, Faculty, Staff, and Students:
We write to express our concern for future generations of Broncos: students that come after years of struggle and hard work to improve the Santa Clara experience for marginalized voices, for students of color, and for those that do not feel at home at SCU. These future generations of students will unfortunately have to live through similar experiences, and face the same challenges, that we have faced—if not more.
Santa Clara University has committed itself to a project of Sustaining Excellence, which has manifested itself through difficult fiscal budget cuts and an unprecedented 5.3 percent tuition increase from FY 2016 to FY 2017. Sustaining excellence is a worthy goal. However, excellence cannot be sustained when you do not first commit to a framework of moral and institutional excellence. As we have learned from history, excellence and equality cannot be reached when there are people in a community that do not have a voice and feel disenfranchised.
As student representatives and as community leaders, we strive to represent the interests and values of all Santa Clara students. Recent actions undertaken by the administration have made it impossible to effectively serve or advocate for the students at Santa Clara University. The overturning of a student government decision and the censorship of The Santa Clara are the most poignant examples of a recent trend of administrative interference in our ability to serve our students autonomously. To many students, the lack of a sense of urgency for progress on diversity and inclusion issues in response to the Unity 4 movement is a disregard of the student voice on campus.
Many of us leaders will graduate this year. The turnover rate for students is quick, and for student leaders even quicker. Students are here for only four years, but these years are the most formative of their lives. We know from the stories and experiences from alumni that Santa Clara University has not changed much in the past 10 years. The slow pace of institutional change over the past decade calls for structural reform and the implementation of measures to accelerate the adoption of progressive administrative policies and student initiatives.
We urge you to recommit to the student voice that is present on campus and recommit to improving the Santa Clara student experience. This calls for immediate conversation on how to reassure that our voices are not silenced on the decisions that directly affect the students we represent. A commitment of this magnitude will require an all-SCU effort defined by a partnership between administration, faculty and students.
Lidia Diaz-Fong: Student Body President, Associated Student Government
Fred Feyzi: Executive Vice President, Associated Student Government
Neil Datar: Senate Chair, Associated Student Government
Isaac Nieblas: Director, Multicultural Center
Ryan Tan: Associate Director, Multicultural Center
Alaina Boyle: Director, SCCAP
Elleni Hailu: Associate Director, SCCAP
Njideka Akudinobi: Director, Activities Programming Board
Morgan Carpenter: Associate Director, Activities Programming Board
Matt Pierson: President, Into the Wild
Tessa Moore: Co-Vice President, Into the Wild
Sam Kennard: Co-Vice President, Into the Wild
Henry Strickland: Editor-In-Chief, The Review
Lauren Betschart: Associate Editor, The Review
Vivian Stoneking: Editor-In-Chief, The Redwood
Ali Romley: Managing Editor, The Redwood
This letter was signed by 16 students holding leadership positions in seven Chartered Student Organizations, which are advised and supported by Santa Clara’s Center for Student Involvement.