CRES Supports the "Students for Sustaining Black Wellness" Referendum

April 04, 2022

The faculty and staff of the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Department and the Black Studies Minor wholeheartedly support the “Students for Sustaining Black Wellness Referendum” (below) put forward by the Black Student Union (BSU) and the African American Theater Arts Troupe (AATAT). The vibrancy of UC Santa Cruz and the famed social consciousness of this campus stem, in no small part, from both the organizing that BSU and generations of Black students before them have undertaken to combat institutional racism and the powerful critique that AATAT has delivered in the realm of cultural performance. Moreover, both AATAT and BSU perform critical recruitment and retention services for underrepresented students. It is for all these reasons that we urge the administration (1) to allocate resources to increase the number of BIPOC counselors in CAPS and (2) to invest permanent funds to ensure that AATAT can continue to serve generations of audiences, both on campus and in the community, to come.

- The CRES Department and Black Studies Minor Program

Students for Sustaining Black Wellness


UCSC students are known nationwide for creating and advocating for justice and community. Since the founding of this campus, students have pushed UCSC to better serve every student and to offer an education that reveals the sources of injustice and empowers us to be effective agents of change.

Students’ efforts to improve our campus are often not validated when the campus makes important decisions concerning student life. As a result, students have watched their needs go unsupported while resources get allocated to new administrative positions or programs favored by administrators. This disproportionately impacts students from minoritized communities.

 Today, Black students at UCSC are leading the fight for accountability and the allocation of resources necessary to counter the institutional racism embedded in every educational institution in this country. There are many issues to address; however, these are two urgent needs we would like the student body to weigh in on:

  1. Of 13 counselors, only 1 is Black-identified. Students often have to wait weeks to see them. For the past 11 years, the Black Student Union (BSU) has advocated for sufficient BIPOC diversity in the university’s counseling staff. To date, the University has failed to meet this need.
  2. For over 30 years, the African American Theater Arts Troupe (AATAT), the only Black, student-led theater group in the UC system, has lacked University support. In 2011, the student body stepped in and voted to tax themselves to keep student-led diversity theater alive. Still, AATAT’s request for necessary university funds has not been addressed.

 Students, please offer your voices on these two critical issues

  • I feel the University administration needs to listen to students and move quickly to increase the number of BIPOC counselors at Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS).
  • I feel the University administration needs to listen to students and invest permanent resources that support the cultural diversity theater of the African American Theater Arts Troupe (AATAT).