Letters to the Editor, November 18, 2010

Racial reckoning

“Racial Reckoning with the Environment and Community MASS students” takes place Friday, Nov. 20 from noon to 4 p.m. via Zoom. Link: us02web.zoom.us/j/7274848553.

Current Environment and Community Masters students have demanded and arranged a virtual meeting with faculty and administration to ensure the structural and interpersonal racism of the department is substantively addressed.

The graduate students of Humboldt State University’s Environment and Community Program are calling for an end to the racist and oppressive practices of our institution following years of unrelenting racism at a variety of scales across several cohorts.

Despite our department’s claim of valuing equity and justice, students of color have faced harassment and intimidation by both faculty and fellow students for years without recourse. Recent events within the department, as well as the political-historical moment we as a society are facing together, have called us to respond, demand, and effect the change necessary to combat racism in the Environment and Community Program.

For those outside our program community, Dr. Yvonne Everett’s immediate removal from our department was demanded by the students of Environment and Community following a racist and transphobic outburst by Dr. Everett during a Zoom class.

The students of Environment and Community recognize that Dr. Everett’s outburst was merely one of a series of known racist acts and statements against students of color, particularly Indigenous students.

Furthermore, we, the graduate students of Environment and Community recognize that Dr. Everett’s actions reflect pernicious, long-term issues more broadly at play in our department, and indeed across the University as a whole.

We recognize and denounce our University’s historic and continued targeting of departments serving marginalized communities — budget threats and past firings targeting Native American Studies and the historic gutting of Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies as entire departments. We recognize the sudden renaming, re-programming, and firings of student employees to the space formerly known as the “Multi-Cultural Center (MCC)” as a direct assault on the ability of BIPOC and Queer students to gather, organize, and receive services.

These are merely a few of the University’s actions against marginalized communities, and we, the graduate students of Environment and Community bear witness to the broad actions of the University as we now seek to fight the racism within our own department.

Current and past students will provide testimony and our collective demands to ensure that the Environment and Community Program, and, more broadly, Humboldt State University take seriously the racist conditions graduate students are subjected to.

Graduate students from other departments are invited to attend. If you wish to testify as a graduate student, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Humboldt area and campus community members are invited to attend to hear our testimony, demands and next steps.

We look forward to our University’s support in this matter.

Carrie Tully
Environment & Community MASS graduate students
Humboldt State University

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Measure F next steps

The community-run campaign, the Friends of Measure F, consisted of around 30 individuals that live and work within the Arcata Fire District. These individuals, who put in their personal time informing their community about the need to properly fund their fire district, would like to thank the residents of the fire district for supporting this effort by voting yes. The greater than 75 percent positive support shows this community understands the real need to properly fund this vital organization. However, it needs to be understood the funding from this tax measure will not be received by the District until January 2022.

Now comes the planning needed to get this organization back on its feet and refilling the vacant firefighter positions to be able to staff the third station. The District has been in a deficit budget for the last several years and using it emergency reserve fund to cover operational spending. So, the funds coming from the approval of Measure F will help the District get back to full service. However, there will be a delay in the flow of those funds, about 13 months.

The District Board will need to assess their near-term priorities and determine how best to recover from their present limitations. Just the interviewing and training of new firefighter will take time. It may be possible to recruit experienced qualified firefighters into the area which can save time getting them on shift. But most likely the new employees will be fresh out of the academy with little or no time in the field. So, with the time delay for receiving the funding, again about 13 months, and the time needed to fill the needed vacant positions, there will be a delay in opening the third station. But with this ability to forecast adequate funding the District can again start to feel capable of ensuring they can meet their missions; “We exist to protect the lives, environment and property of the communities we serve.” And their values of “Every Effort, Ever Hour, Every Call.” The Friends of Measure F, and I’m sure the Firefighters in the Arcata Fire District want to thank you for your continued support.

Roy Willis
Friends of Measure F


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