The UCLA College Republicans suggested that student activists stop attempting to erase the history of the school, adding that those who wish to do so are "cultural parasites" for running a campaign to change the name of the Janss Steps, The College Fix reported.
The Janss Steps were named for Harold Janss and Edwin Janss Sr., who sold about 380 acres of land to the school, below market rate. This is what allowed UCLA to be built.
The petition to change the name stated that most people at the school didn't know about the Janns' history of racial discrimination. A California Supreme Court case in 1925, Janss Investment Co. v. Walden, found in favour of the complainant that racial restrictions on land sales were not lawful. Janns Corp.'s final holdings were liquidated in 1995.
The College Republicans took to Facebook, writing that those who wish to leech off "the accomplishments of the adventurous and the great" are going against what allowed the university to become "a world-class institution in the process."
The College Fix reported that they received an email from the College Republicans, saying that "students are weaponizing the atmosphere of cancel culture."
Twenty student groups supported the student government's resolution in renaming the Janss Steps after the Tongva tribe, which was allegedly indigenous to the area.
According to Gabrielinotribe.org:
"In 1851-53, three U.S. Government Treaty Commissioners appointed by President Fillmore signed the 18 'lost treaties', setting aside 8.5 million acres in California for Indian reservations in return for the Indians' quitclaim to 75 million acres of California land. After lobbying by California business interests, the U.S. Senate refused to ratify any of the Treaties, instead placing an 'injunction of secrecy' on the documents for 50 years. They were discovered in a locked desk drawer in the Senate Archives in 1905."
"The approximately 1.2 million acres promised to the Gabrielino Tribe and other Mission Indians included 50,000 acres on the San Sebastian Reserve at the Tejon Pass at the edge of Los Angeles County, a temporary reservation to which a number of Gabrielino families had been relocated. This 50,000-acre reserve was never officially taken into trust, but instead ended up as the private property of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Edward Beale, who incorporated it into his newly named 'Tejon Ranch.'"
"UCLA is one of the only appropriate places where the Tongva people can be honored on their own land," Melody Satele, student government leader, said.
The student government moved forward with a vote on July 28, unanimously passing the resolution, according to the UCLA student newspaper, the Daily Bruin. The report added that the petition to rename the Janss Steps had received almost 3,500 signatures in just two months, despite not having a name to replace it.
The College Fix stated that the university did not respond to "several emails" for comment in the past week, adding that the institution told the Daily Bruin that it was "reviewing the petition and committed to maintaining an inclusive campus."
"We are committed to UCLA's values of equity, diversity and inclusion, and are considering ways to better align the names of campus structures and spaces with those values, as well as to honor the contributions of people from a variety of backgrounds," a university spokesperson said.