CSU Long Beach proposal would erase Che Guevara image from art

Mercer 1975

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

Image of Che Guevara on a CSU Long Beach campus mural has raised the ire of student senator.

Student leaders at public universities aren’t only debating fee hikes and class cuts. A Cal State Long Beach student senator wants an image of a hero of the Cuban revolution removed from a mural in the campus humanities building.

The resolution by student senator Mark Rizk proposed removing from art on campus any controversial or culturally insensitive images. He’d also like to chuck those that don’t represent the ideals of Cal State Long Beach or of the United States. Rizk told fellow student senators that Ernesto “Che” Guevara fits all these criteria – and stands out in the mural because he’s portrayed next to non-violent leaders Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.

During a public comment period, one student called Guevara a murderer. The dean of students told the group it could not limit which images appear on campus art. Student Senator Mark Rizk cast the only “yes” vote.

With that, thankfully, the proposal died, said Associated Students president Christopher Chavez. "There’s always going to be debate about whether revolution, nonviolent approaches over nonviolence. But in the end, I think there are bigger issues we need to be addressing as a student government." Chavez said the student government’s next issue would be college student loan reforms.

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