| Chicanos at U.C. Berkeley 1968-1976
Mexican American Student Confederation (Below)
Third World Liberation Front
| 1968 was the year I became a Chicano-again. I grew up as a Chicano but it wasn't an identity I thought I would take with me to UC Berkeley. I had already completed my lower division work at San Bernardino Valley College where I was a co-founder of the anti-Vietnam War movement. But I had no experience with Chicano politics. During the winter quarter I met Fernando Garcia, a Chicano from East Los Angeles. Fernando was not involved in campus politics but he did have opinions about the war and about the low number of Mexican Americans on campus. So we made plans to start a Mexican American student organization the following quarter.
But during the first week of the spring quarter we saw an ad placed by Ysidro Macias, a transfer student from Santa Monica, announcing a meeting to organize a campus chapter of the Mexican American Student Confederation.
About 15 people showed up for that first meeting. Ysidro introduced himself and explained that the purpose of MASC was to assert our Chicano pride and to preserve our culture. Ysidro was asked what he meant by Chicano and what part of our culture he wanted to preserve. He said Chicanos were people who grew up in the barrios and were resisting being like "white
|people." When asked about the culture he said "you know, tacos and enchiladas." He then pointed to a few of those present and said "look at how you're dressed, you look white." Ysidro didn't make many friends that day. At the second meeting only 5 people showed up. But it was a start.
That spring quarter we adopted a constitution and held our first quarterly elections. Ysidro was elected President and I was elected vice-president. During this period we made contact with Octavio Romano, a Professor in Health Sciences, who had been involved in a dispute with the university over the low number of Mexican Americans enrolled at Berkeley. We also met a graduate student named David Sanchez who had just completed a study of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and found that Mexican Americans were sorely under-represented. We also met Cipriano Salazar, a program assistant at Stiles Hall, University YMCA, and Richard Rodriguez a volunteer at Stiles Hall. These four individuals became our advisors and mentors and helped us develop our first political goals and objectives.
Our first political action was submitting a list of demands to the university to make the EOP more responsive to the needs of Mexican Americans.
|Daily Cal April 19, 1968|
For More Effective EOP
| By MARY PINOTTI
A group representing Mexican-American students here demanded yesterday that the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) be made more responsive to minority students’ needs.
The EOP is designed to recruit minority students to campus, advise them while here and provide financial assistance when necessary.
The Mexican American Student Confederation (MASC), organized here last quarter and affiliated with similar groups throughout northern and southern California, has asked for more minority representation in the selection of students and the actual running of the program.
MASC presented the demands to the University – Community Committee at its first meeting last night. The committee is composed of community leaders, students and administrators, and is chaired by Executive Vice Chancellor Earl F. Cheit.
The committee did not formally take up the demands. Rather, representatives of MASC will be meeting with William B. Boyd, Vice Chancellor in charge of student affairs to discuss and possibly implement them.
Specifically, the group requested:
-The committee of three which screen and selected EOP applicants be enlarged to seven; the additional four members be students—two black and two Mexican-American.
-The EOP students and staff reflect the ethnic composition of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Minority
| supervisors at all levels and students to end discrimination in education and employment here.
Macias claimed the EOP was derelict in its duties toward all minorities and asserted there was not enough representation of Mexican-Americans.
Considering that Latin and Mexican Americans form the largest minority in California, “there’s something wrong” when there are few Mexican-American non-academic employees and no permanent Mexican-American faculty members, Macias charged.
Latin and Mexican-American groups have grown sick and tired of being an invisible minority, Macias commented to explain the formation of the recently organized MASC.
The group has approximately 40 members and intends to foster pride in the Mexican-American cultural identity, inspire its people to higher education, and formulate unity within all existing Mexican-American groups.
Currently, MASC is working with United Latin’s for Justice in Oakland, which is protesting the fatal shooting of a young Mexican-American, Charles de Baca by an Oakland policeman.
“Today the average age of the Mexican-American is 19 years-old. There is a feeling of frustration with the inequalities of the system which engenders a capacity to riot,” Macias remarked. “If East Los Angeles went up, it would make Watts look like a picnic,” he asserted, stressing the opinion was his own, not that of MASC.
|Education-half Black half Mexican.
-The EOP have a co-directorship—one black man and one Mexican-American.
-The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Minority Education be empowered to finally approve the new co-directors of EOP.
-The entire four per cent waiver be used to recruit minority students.
The waiver allows students whose academic record does not meet University requirements be admitted if they demonstrate promise. A partial survey conducted in the fall of 1967 showed only seven per cent of Mexican-American students admitted to the EOP program came through the waiver.
-A thorough evaluation of the EOP be conducted by the Research Center for Higher Education. No such study has yet been researched.
The demands were endorsed by George Napper, chairman of the Black Graduate Students Forum.
Sid Macias, temporary chairman of MASC, and Ralph Arreola, senior in civil engineering and also of MASC, commented that they expected the University administration to approve their demands.
“After Martin Luther King’s assassination the administration made it plain they would encourage better minority participation in the University,” Macias stated.
"We expect to see a follow through to Chancellor's Heyn's address to the Academic Senate April 8, "Arreola added. Heyns’ speech called for direct personal commitment from administrators, faculty,