A quartet of students at taxpayer-funded San Francisco State University who call themselves the “Third World Liberation Front 2016” have gone on a hunger strike this week until. They have vowed not to eat until administrators provide the school’s College of Ethnic Studies with $8 million in funding.
The four students — Hassani Bell, Julia Retzlaff, Sachiel Rosen and Ahkeel Mestayer — began their hunger strike on Monday, reports The San Francisco Examiner.
They met in San Francisco State’s Malcolm X Plaza — just outside the Cesar Chavez student center — and marched their way around campus to the administration building, protesting prospective tuition increases as they went. About 100 supporters showed up to encourage the hunger strikers.
Once at the administration building, the four students demanded that SFSU president Leslie Wong bankroll the College of Studies with a cool $8 million so it can “not only sustain itself but thrive.”
The big-picture problem is that SFSU’s College of Ethnic Studies has run out of money. School officials have agreed to provide a $200,000 cash infusion for the college to stay afloat.
Obviously, $200,000 is not enough for the students representing “Third World Liberation Front 2016.”
Along with faculty members and other students, they insist that the ethnic studies program will soon be forced to lay off professors, drastically cut courses and discontinue graduate program without a very large infusion of taxpayer largesse.
The College of Ethnic Studies boasts an annual budget of at least $3.5 million per year.
The four hunger-striking students want $8 million in public funds because, they say, that amount would make the College of Ethnic Studies whole again — as it was back in 2009, a magical time before SFSU began experiencing financial problems.
“I’m upset,” Mestayer, the hunger striker who originally conceived the idea not to eat in exchange for $8 million, told the Examiner. “I feel that the administration does not take students seriously.”
Mestayer added that he believes the school is not doing enough to promote social justice.
San Francisco State provost Sue Rosser has noted that every college and department at the public school has faced funding shortages since 2009.
“I have concerns about the health and welfare of these students,” Rosser told the San Francisco daily. “I can only reiterate that we are not cutting the budget of Ethnic Studies, as we have said repeatedly.”
“We don’t have $8 million,” she added.
Nevertheless, the four students are optimistic.
“Hopefully it doesn’t have to last too long,” Bell, another of the hunger strikers, told the Examiner.
The “Third World Liberation Front 2016” has a list of 10 total demands. The demands include adding a graduate advisor to the school payroll and enlarging the College of Ethnic Studies resource center.
The name “Third World Liberation Front 2016” appears to be a tribute to the 1968 version of the Third World Liberation Front, a coalition of several radical organizations at San Francisco State including the Black Students Union and El Renacimiento, a Mexican-American group. The original coalition led a series of demonstrations that prompted school officials to establish SFSU’s College of Ethnic Studies — America’s first.
Among the members of the original Third World Liberation Front was Richard Aoki, a Japanese-American activist who provided the Black Panther Party with weapons and weapons training prior to a shootout between Black Panthers and Oakland police, according to The Huffington Post.
Aoki, a member of the Black Panthers, wasn’t all bad, though. Records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show he was also a longtime FBI informant.
San Francisco State is a notorious hotbed of leftist activism. (RELATED: The 13 Most Rabidly Leftist, Politically Correct Colleges For Dirty, Tree-Hugging Hippies)
The school most recently made headlines over a viral video showing a black woman on campus verbally badgering a white student for “cultural appropriation.” The woman was mad that the student had dreadlocks. She threatened to cut off the guy’s dreads with scissors. The woman has been identified as an SFSU employee. (VIDEO: Woman Gets In White Student’s Face For Having Dreadlocks)
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