San Francisco State University

Ethnic Studies Hunger Striker at San Francisco State Hospitalized

One of the four hunger strikers at San Francisco State University has been hospitalized in her effort to raise awareness about what some of her fellow colleagues argue is a severely underfunded ethnic studies program.

Julia Retzlaff ,19, was taken to the hospital after having complaints of chest pains late Monday night.

At around 10:30 p.m., volunteers from Clinica Martin Baro were monitoring the strikers and had indicated Retzlaff’s heart rate and blood pressure was too high.

She was treated for dehydration and returned to campus to continue the strike after she was released from the hospital, according to the spokesperson for Hunger Strikers for Ethnic Studies.

The hunger strikers vowed to not eat until administrators dedicate $8 million to save the ethnic studies program from undergoing severe budget cuts.

The three other hunger strikers are: Ahkeel Andres Mestayer, 20, Hassani Bell, 18, and Sachiel Rossen, 19.

The hunger strikers met with SFSU President Leslie Wong on Wednesday morning, just two hours before he makes the final decision to make cuts to the ethnic studies department. Wong sent a statement saying: "I am writing to underscore my commitment to work through each of the Ethnic Studies
students’ demands in a deliberative fashion. I am also writing to request that the studentstake my commitment to come to the negotiating table in good faith and end their hunger strike immediately."

He said he was meeting with the strikers’ negotiating team, three Ethnic Studies faculty and Dean Monteiro, Thursday morning.

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