About CRES

This blog is maintained by the CRES Student Working Group (which consists of both undergraduate and graduate students) in order to document the ongoing struggle for Ethnic Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz. We maintain only this blog and do not have any affiliation with other blogs or media about UCSC.

We recognize that students have been working around Ethnic Studies for multiple decades and at many levels of the university. We claim no ownership over any movement or material that is produced. We ask that any material used from the blog is cited and used only for educational purposes, but most importantly that it is done with honor and respect for the many people who labored in the struggle for Ethnic Studies.

We would also like to point out that the name Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) was created to acknowledge the intellectual development of Ethnic Studies since the beginning of this struggle. The name came from countless meetings and hours with many different graduate students, faculty, and undergrads.

To contact the CRES student working group or to ask about getting involved, email: ucscprojectcres@gmail.com or send your comment below!

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One Response to About CRES

  1. Tom says:

    As a UCSC Tour Guide, I am hired as part of Admissions Outreach. This is a very hard job for me in order to balance my politics and beliefs while at the same time performing my job duties.
    Severe deficiencies are present in the current framework. The framework, the 30 or so pages we are required to learn, is what tour guides are directed to say during campus tours. The framework itself is extremely slanted towards the sciences and monetary achievements the university has achieved. It contains walking directions and talking points for a variety of campus topics. Its slant however, is totally indicative of where the universities interests are. The Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences are discussed in passing, while the sciences are discussed much more fully, and Science Hill is a required stop on nearly every tour.

    The job itself is underpaid, receiving only $8.50/hr for what could arguably be considered many people’s first impression of UCSC. Underpaying employees breeds discontent and lack of interest in the job. Tour Guides should be paid more, considering they are required to learn a framework of talking points and are arguably one of the first student “faces” seen on this campus.

    Speaking of faces, the framework itself and the tour guides are inadquately trained in issues of cultural and ethnic sensitivity. Often, tours are given to high school students from underserved communities and first-generation, or low-income students. These are crucial demographics to reach out to and it is great that the university does so, but its method of approach is completely disconnected with the needs and position these prospective students are coming from.
    A common talking point during tour presentations is to counter the high cost of attending (not mentioning the almost hyperbolic increase in tuition in the last few years) with financial aid. Many of these students, low-income, first-generation, predominantly latin@ students may very well be undocumented. The allure of financial aid is not available to them as it currently stands. Promoting programs such as EAP (Education Abroad Program), also does not apply to these students, who are fearful of leaving perhaps even their own community for fear of being “outted” by their immigrant status.

    The tour framework does very little to address the issues of diversity, students of color, and students coming from poverty and questionable immigration status. While the university promotes PAATH housing and Indigenous People’s Housing, it replicates the “bomb shelter” effect of safe spaces as characterized by Christine Hong and others without addressing the very state of the University is racist, classist, and opposed to the interests of the poor and working classes.

    Perhaps this is an issues CRES can look into and bring some exposure to.

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