Arbor Update

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Ward Connerly ends term as UC Regent

21. January 2005 • Murph
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Ward Connerly’s 12-year term as a UC Regent ended yesterday; the Daily Californian reviews his accomplishments.

To some, his departure is a victory. Affirmative action advocates say California now has the opportunity to bring race back into consideration in admissions.

“The people of California who support equality are rejoicing today,� says Ronald Cruz, UC Berkeley student and a member of BAMN, who has never been silent about his contempt for Connerly’s policies. “We now have the opportunity at UC to move forward.�

But Connerly says his hard-nosed approach to race in education is not about restricting access, as some critics allege, but instead about true equality.

“For the life of me, I don’t know why it’s contentious,� he says. Connerly points to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination on the basis of race.

Though maybe not so much a victory for some of us outside of California:

Although Connerly says he is “free at last� from the board and is ready to relax, he will continue to push a measure in Michigan similar to California’s Proposition 209.

“Passion doesn’t die,� he says. “You can leave one forum, but you don’t need to be an elected official or a regent to have a voice.�