The University of Washington student senate has asked the school to set a goal of increasing enrollment of Alaska Native and Native Americans to 24% over the next eight years.
As reported in The College Fix, the Associated Students of the University of Washington passed the resolution 50-1 at its January meeting.
The resolution, sponsored by UW’s American Indian Student Commission, states that the school must “commit to a 3% annual increase in the student population of Alaska Native/Native American students leading to an Alaska Native/Native American student population of at least 24% by 2030.”
An earlier draft of the resolution called for 25%, although one member — who ended up being the lone no vote — said that was too high.
According to minutes of the meeting, Native Americans currently make up about 1% of the university’s enrollment and just under 2% of the statewide population. Enrollment among all minority groups at the school is 16%.
The controversy arose after a professor was censored for wording he included on his class syllabus. The university’s Office of Minority Affairs recommends that professors include a statement acknowledging the campus is located on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish Native American tribes.
For his Computer Science and Engineering 143 class, Professor Stuart Reges wrote “I acknowledge that by the labor theory of property the Coast Salish people can claim historical ownership of almost none of the land currently occupied by the University of Washington.”
The online syllabus was removed by the school and a second section of the class with a different professor was added after students complained.
The labor theory of property comes from philosopher John Locke, who in his “Second Treatise on Government” said that people can claim ownership of land by appropriating it through and act of labor, such as growing crops.
The resolution went on to say the school should “place an emphasis on hiring faculty focusing on the intersectionality of Tribal sovereignty and computing within the CSE department,” and that “BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color) students need resources created by BIPOC professionals to address the traumas inflicted by institutions and individuals.”
Washington residents ended affirmative action in state college admissions in a 1998 referendum and reaffirmed that policy in a 2019 statewide vote.
This article was originally posted on UW student government calls for 24% American Indian enrollment