SFSU President and hunger strikers reach agreement

San Francisco State University president Les Wong met Wednesday with a group of students and faculty to discuss a dispute over funding to the College of Ethnic Studies that has led to a student hunger strike.

According to the University, they have reached an agreement with the hunger strikers on 11 demands.

View the agreement below or click here




The highlights include; the reallocating of funds to the College of Ethnic Studies to support the salaries of two full-time tenured positions in Africana Studies, the University will support intentions to increase recruitment of under-represented minorities from the local Bay Area, in addition, a department at the University will support four student employees through work-study programs within the College of Ethnic Studies.

The university claims the agreement includes an additional investment of $482,806 in support of the college’s department in addition to the $250,000 commitment already made by the president for 2016-17. 

Negotiations began at 8 a.m., according to group spokesman Andrew Jolivette, a professor and chair of the American Indian Studies Department.

On Tuesday, Wong had issued a statement stating that he was committed to working through the hunger strikers' demands and urging them to come to the bargaining table "in good faith" and end their hunger strike.

"I believe, together, we can come to a resolution that ensures that the College of Ethnic Studies thrives in perpetuity," Wong said in the statement.

The group of students began a hunger strike on May 2 in response to what they and faculty members have described as attacks and retaliation on the College of Ethnic Studies.

In particular, they allege that the university cut funding for two positions in the Department of Africana Studies and are demanding increased funding for the college.

University officials have said that they did not cut funding, but that the department has routinely exceeded its budget for the past several years and the university has been making up the shortfall with one-time funds that are now depleted.

One student, Julia Retzlaff, 19, was hospitalized on May 9 after complaining of chest pain earlier in the day but was released within a few hours and has since returned to the hunger strike, Jolivette said.

The other participating students have been identified as as Ahkeel Andres Mestayer, 20, Hassani Bell, 18, and Sachiel Rosen, 19.