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UCSD Guardian Editorial: Start at the Source for Campus Harmony

February 27, 2010 1 comment

by: The Editorial Board
The Guardian (UCSD), 2/25/10

The question of whether we should enforce affirmative action at the University of California — one of the most contentious and drawn-out issues of our generation — has never been more relevant.

Yesterday, approximately 400 students from the Southern California area joined in a Black Student Union-led protest to address racism on campus. They asked Chancellor Marye Anne Fox to comply with a list of demands that would increase outreach efforts on campus, expressing hurt and alienation over the frat-affiliated “Compton Cookout” party and the racial slur made on Koala TV last Thursday.

Though BSU is correct in believing it must attack underrepresentation by way of changed policy, not all of their demands are fiscally feasible. There’s only so much funding Chancellor Fox can put aside for a resource center or an art space after systemwide cuts have left us with mere scraps of an already depleted budget. However, we can more realistically attack the problem at its source by immediately tweaking our admissions process.

Of course, it isn’t legal to consider race in admissions just yet. But, thanks to the actions of student-based coalition “By Any Means Necessary,” that might change. Earlier this month, BAMN filed a class-action lawsuit to overturn Proposition 209 — the 1996 law that banned affirmative action at all California public universities. According to the organization, because of the precedent set by 2003 Supreme Court case Grutter v. Bollinger — which declared affirmative action both necessary and legal — BAMN has a good chance of overturning Prop. 209.

We hope that’s the case, and urge students to funnel whatever energy they have after parading Price Center’s perimeters this year and channel it into helping level the playing field at a legislative level.

The fewer minority students there are at UCSD, the more other students will think events like the Cookout are no big deal. Without a challenge to the privileged point of view, the more graduates we release to the world without a trace of cultural sensitivity.

While we’re waiting on BAMN’s lawsuit, however, we recommend that the university do what it can within its limitations. Currently, all UC campuses save UCLA and UC Berkeley make admissions decisions based on a comprehensive system that awards each applicant a certain number of points according to his or her academic record, economic status and personal achievements. At UCSD specifically, an applicant’s academic record makes up for 74 percent of his or her score — meaning those who don’t earn enough points based on their GPA or SAT scores won’t even get a chance to be reviewed for personal achievements.

The holistic review that UCLA and Berkeley use, however, avoids forcing a value on any one aspect of an application, and assesses candidates based on all factors of their application. Even if, say, an applicant’s academic SAT score is low because he couldn’t afford a prep course or find time to study while helping his parents pay the bills, his evaluators would still be able to consider him based on other merits. Accordingly, UCLA and Berkeley have more than double, almost triple, our 1.3 percent of black students.

And let’s face it. The way we deal with everyday challenges almost always says more about our ability to learn and adapt to difficult situations (i.e. blazing through with two weeks of midterms on top of a part-time job) than the grade you weaseled out in AP History.

It’s true that such a prestigious institution of higher learning as UCSD should value academic record very highly in the admissions process. But if you really think about it, no matter how many worksheets on chemical titration you filled out in high school, you probably don’t remember any of it now. Your high-school resume often has more to do with the resources and encouragement you received — opportunities far from equal in California’s fund-biased education system.

So, we hope that Associate Vice Chancellor of Admissions Mae Brown means it when she says that her department will be launching a pilot program incorporating holistic review next year. Far more than punishing frat boys or student media, a new system would foster campus diversity and, therefore, awareness.

Our student population is in a state of obvious disproportionality — one for which no safe space nor free tutoring session can compensate. Starting-line coexistance is the only answer. If UCSD were to eventually incorporate a form of affirmative action into its admissions process, should Prop. 209 be overturned, the holistic system would be more likely to ensure that applicants aren’t simply receiving points for race, in isolation from experience. Rather, race could be considered within the context of any other strengths or weaknesses, advantages or disadvantage.

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Categories: General

Statement from the Critical Gender Studies Program at UCSD

February 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Dear CGS Friends,

As concerned faculty affiliated with an academic program dedicated to the study of gender and sexuality at the intersections of class, race, ethnicity, religion, and other important organizing constructs of modern societies, we write to express our unequivocal support of the letter issued by the University of California, San Diego faculty of African descent, and ask that the University act immediately to respond to the demands by the Black Student Union.

We believe the racist and misogynist event last week is not an aberration but symptomatic of a larger systemic problem on our campus that the university has historically failed to redress. UCSD has not been forthcoming in fostering an intellectual and pedagogical environment hospitable to those who consider campus diversity foundational to teaching, critical thinking, research and public service. In the past this reticence has profoundly hampered our program’s growth.

Over the past two decades, many faculty affiliated with the Critical Gender Studies Program (formerly Women’s Studies Program) have dedicated their time and energy to increasing diversity on campus. In the absence of the University’s commitment to supporting and sustaining historically underrepresented groups in general, and women of color in particular, an alarming number of African American and other CGS faculty of color have left the campus in bitter disappointment. An African American CGS faculty who recently left UCSD would lament that in her “Black Feminist Theory” class, she was the only “black feminist” in the room. Another African American CGS faculty, who published an award-winning book in timely fashion, was not tenured due to institutional oversight. She left UCSD to teach at a prestigious university with tenure. Earlier when a large number of CGS faculty were involved in the Coalition Against Segregation in Education (CASE) that rallied against the California’s Proposition 209 under the banner, “No University without Diversity,” the University neglected to publicly issue its commitment to diversity in education. After the offensive campus incident last week and the continuing acts of antagonism, we are now being asked to reach out to the prospective students from historically underrepresented communities to assure them that the recent display of hostility is not representative of UCSD. But some of us have been struggling against these conditions long enough to know that this is hardly unusual. At the same time, as faculty affiliated with a program that has managed to grow despite these serious setbacks, we are also aware that much can be accomplished with the concerted efforts and commitment of our students, staff and faculty mobilized for the consistent administrative leadership.

As faculty teaching in CGS, we are keenly aware of the intersecting oppressions many UCSD students face on a daily basis and we know how important it is to have programs like ours, giving all students the theoretical tools to analyze and challenge these structures. There are too few spaces on this campus that offer safety and support in an often alienating climate and we want to emphasize the amazing work done by the Cross Cultural, LGBTR and Women’s Centers. These centers were created due to student pressure and the recent events show how important they and their commitment to intersectional politics still are. We are proud, though not surprised, that again students are taking the lead in pushing for a livable campus climate for all and we fully support their demands.

Symbolic gestures disavowing racism and misogyny will not usher in the changes necessary to achieve our highest aspirations in public education. The CGS Program faculty invites the entire campus community to support the University in its effort to implement the demands of our students and colleagues and immediately commit concrete institutional resources towards bringing forth substantial structural changes to UCSD.

Lisa Yoneyama, Director

Steering Committee:

Patrick Anderson, Communication

Fatima El-Tayeb, Literature

Sara Clarke Kaplan, Ethnic Studies/CGS

Nayan Shah, History

UCSD Student Suspended For Hanging Noose

February 27, 2010 1 comment

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS (San Diego) – 2/26/2010

The UC San Diego student who hung a noose inside a campus library has been suspended from the university. Chancellor Mary Anne Fox says it’s one example of how the university is taking actions to quell racial tensions.

Police say the female student hung a noose from a bookcase inside the Geisel Library. Campus police are not classifying it as a hate crime, but there are saying the noose was left with the intent to terrorize.

It’s another racially-charged incident since a group of students took part in the so-called Compton Cookout party. Fox told students at a campus demonstration that her highest priority is their safety.

“We need to come together and stand together strongly. I pledge to you that we will create a campus climate that students will know that this university that respects them and their communities,” Fox said.

Minority students took over Fox’s office on Friday to demand change. Fox says she is taking actions based on a list of student demands from UCSD’s Black Student Union. One of her actions is the creation of a task force to help bolster outreach and recruitment strategies for minority students. Other actions include:

  • Charging a permanent taskforce to review and enhance outreach programs and identify recruitment strategies to attract minority faculty. Associate Vice Chancellor of Faculty Equity and the Faculty Equity Advisors will serve as the core of this committee.
  • Creation of a Campus Climate Commission modeled after UCLA’s recent efforts to address declines in African-American enrollments
  • Continue to fund the Faculty-Student Mentor Programs; fund the vacant Program Coordinator position in the African American Studies Minor; continue to provide funding within the Chancellor’s Diversity Office
  • Currently identifying a space for an African-American Resource Center on campus
  • Currently identifying appropriate, central locations for cultural art
  • Chancellor and campus leaders to meet with the chair and vice chair of the Black Student Union at least once every academic quarter.

Racial Intimidation at UCSD Escalates – Noose Found at Geisel Library

February 26, 2010 19 comments

4:59pm UPDATE: Chancellor Fox has just issued a video statement. Click HERE to view it.

3:49pm UPDATE: According to UCSD police, no second noose has been found. Apparently it was an unverified rumor that became viral. Things on campus right now are tense to say the least.

3:20pm UPDATE: Report of 2nd noose found at UCSD in Warren College on bear statue. An RA called it in (more details to follow).

2:25pm UPDATE: In sympathy with students of color at UCSD, black students at UCLA organized a brief sit-in at that school’s administrative headquarters, Murphy Hall, in the hallway outside the office of Chancellor Gene Block. A campus spokesman said about 100 protesters were involved, no one was arrested and there was no damage. It ended after Block went out and talked with the students and expressed concern about the situation at UC San Diego. Students at UC Irvine are also trying to meet with the administration there.

1:05pm UPDATE: C President Yudof’s statement on UCSD noose incident says student who confessed claimed she had two accomplices (see statement below).

12:45 pm UPDATE: Students are now occupying the offices of the UCSD chancellor, as the Black Student Union demands that the university close temporarily due to safety concerns. One report on Twitter suggests that they’ve given the university a 5 pm deadline.

12:00pm UPDATE: Students have now peacefully occupied the Chancellor’s office asking that the administration immediately adopt the BSU’s demands .

10:30am UPDATE: VC Matthews announced a suspect has admitted to participating in placing noose at UCSD Geisel Library. There WERE witnesses (for more scroll below). -J.F.

***

Student admits leaving noose at UCSD – Latest incident has spurred new rallies

Karen Kucher and Steve Schmidt

San Diego Union Tribune, 2.26.2010, 10:31am

SAN DIEGO — Campus police at the University of California San Diego are questioning a student who admitted she hung a noose on the seventh floor of the university library Thursday night.

The incident is the third racially charged episode on the campus in two weeks, and has spurred a new round of rallies.

“This is truly a dark day in the history of this university,” Chancellor Marye Anne Fox told students gathered along Library Walk. “It’s abhorrent and untenable.”

The noose was found hanging from a bookcase of the Geisel Library at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, and the student called at 9 a.m. Friday to confess, according to vice chancellor Gary Mattews.

“It’s someone who didn’t think that leaving a noose was an issue,” he said.

Authorities are classifying the crime as “hanging a noose with the intent to terrorize.”

At the new rally, about 300 students and others gathered near the Price Center. Some speakers read poetry, while others made speeches. Many made heartfelt pleas for racial unity and also asked students not to respond in kind.

“This is something that matters. This is something that affects all of us,” said sophomore Sharon Seegers.

Deirdre Vernon, who works on staff in policy and records administration, told the gathered students, “We are behind you and we support you 100 percent. You are loved, no matter what they hang, no matter what they burn.”

Melanie Leon, a junior studying political science who transferred to UCSD this year, said she saw a picture of the noose Friday night in a text message sent to someone at a student meeting she attended.

“I was very upset. I asked campus police to escort me to my car. It is a really awful experience to be threatened on your own campus,” Leon said.

Leon, who is Latina, said she feels threatened and fearful because of the racial tensions on campus.

“I’m in awe that people can be so hurtful and so vicious,” she said. “I don’t know if that is their idea of a joke or not, but those of us that are being affected by this, we take this very seriously.”

The racial turmoil was sparked by an off-campus party Feb. 15, dubbed the “Compton Cookout,” that mocked Black History Month, and by a subsequent show on a student-run TV station that supported the party and called blacks ungrateful, using a racial slur. A piece of cardboard was found at the TV studio with “Compton lynching” written on it.

Minority students on campus declared a racial “state of emergency” on Feb. 19 and met with campus administrators. They presented four pages of demands, most of which targeted improving the racial climate on campus. One demand was for a safe haven on campus for blacks who feel threatened or intimidated.

On Wednesday, members of the Black Student Union and their supporters walked out of an administration-organized teach-in at the Price Center focused on combating institutional racism. The students also staged a roving protest.

African-Americans make up less than 2 percent of undergraduates on the La Jolla campus.

Police are questioning other witnesses, in addition to the student who came forward. They asked anyone with information to call (858) 534-4359 or e-mail detective@ucsd.edu.

***

Protesters take over UCSD’s Chancellor’s office – they are outraged over latest episode, a noose hanging at the library

Steve Schmidt, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/26/2010, 2:23pm

SAN DIEGO — Student protesters have taken over the offices of University of California San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox as a third racially charged episode has brought a new wave of outrage.

Students are protesting atop desks and countertops throughout Fox’s suite, except for her own sanctum. They are chanting, “Real pain, real change.” Some are playing drums.

Fox has twice addressed students today, once outside the library where a noose was found last night and once in a eucalyptus grove outside her office. Students remain upset with the pace of the administration’s response to their demand for action over ongoing racial strife.

“You can’t imagine how pained we are, we are heartsick,” Vice Chancellor Penny Rue told the students on a bullhorn.

Campus police are questioning a student who admitted she hung the noose on the seventh floor of the university library, on the west side of aisle three, which faces the windows.

“This is truly a dark day in the history of this university,” Fox told students gathered earlier along Library Walk. “It’s abhorrent and untenable.”

The noose was found hanging from a bookcase of the Geisel Library at 10:30 p.m. last night, and the student called at 9 a.m. today to confess, according to vice chancellor Gary Mattews.

“It’s someone who didn’t think that leaving a noose was an issue,” he said.

Authorities are classifying the crime as “hanging a noose with the intent to terrorize.”

At a morning rally, about 300 students and others gathered near the Price Center. Some speakers read poetry, while others made speeches. Many made heartfelt pleas for racial unity and also asked students not to respond in kind.

“This is something that matters. This is something that affects all of us,” said sophomore Sharon Seegers.

Deirdre Vernon, who works on staff in policy and records administration, told the gathered students, “We are behind you and we support you 100 percent. You are loved, no matter what they hang, no matter what they burn.”

Melanie Leon, a junior studying political science who transferred to UCSD this year, said she saw a picture of the noose Friday night in a text message sent to someone at a student meeting she attended.

“I was very upset. I asked campus police to escort me to my car. It is a really awful experience to be threatened on your own campus,” Leon said.

Leon, who is Latina, said she feels threatened and fearful because of the racial tensions on campus.

“I’m in awe that people can be so hurtful and so vicious,” she said. “I don’t know if that is their idea of a joke or not, but those of us that are being affected by this, we take this very seriously.”

The racial turmoil was sparked by an off-campus party Feb. 15, dubbed the “Compton Cookout,” that mocked Black History Month, and by a subsequent show on a student-run TV station that supported the party and called blacks ungrateful, using a racial slur. A piece of cardboard was found at the TV studio with “Compton lynching” written on it.

Minority students on campus declared a racial “state of emergency” on Feb. 19 and met with campus administrators. They presented four pages of demands, most of which targeted improving the racial climate on campus. One demand was for a safe haven on campus for blacks who feel threatened or intimidated.

On Wednesday, members of the Black Student Union and their supporters walked out of an administration-organized teach-in at the Price Center focused on combating institutional racism. The students also staged a roving protest.

African-Americans make up less than 2 percent of undergraduates on the La Jolla campus.

Police are questioning other witnesses, in addition to the student who came forward. They asked anyone with information to call (858) 534-4359 or e-mail detective@ucsd.edu.

For parts 1-9 of the video reports of this morning’s protests and the subsequent chancellor’s complex occupation, click HERE.

——————————————————–

Below, I am posting emails from people I’ve been receiving. -J.F.

***

We are in a state of emergency my friends. Latest news is that a NOOSE was found hanging on the 7th floor of Geisel Library. People ask whats the big deal? Why is everyone so upset? I’ll tell you why take note of this exerpt in the autobiography of Angelo Herndon titled “Let Me Live”:

“I know many stories about Negroes who were lynched on no more just provocation than this. Sometimes the lynch mobs need neither provocation nor excuse to carry on their bestial orgies. Often I used to read with horror about the lynching of some Negro worker in the South. The most gruesome, the most disgusting lynching story I ever heard was that which concerned Hayes and Mary turner, Negro sharecroppers in Georgia. They were pauperized and their landlord had tried to rob them of everything they had produced on their land with the toil of their hands and the seat of their brows. The share cropper was man enough to stand up for his rights. He demanded that the farm products be divided equally, as had been agreed upon at the beginning of the year. The landlord grew violently abusive. He threatened him and said he would “fix” him. Terrified out of his wits, for he knew that his landlord would not stop at anything to revenge himself, Hayes Turner tried to make a quite getaway. But his landlord had not allowed grass to grow on his track. He quickly organized a posse of hooligans and the most disreputable elements in the community and gave chase to the runaway. The posse, led by the County Sheriff, caught up with Hayes Turner at the fork of the road near Barney. THEY STRUNG HIM UP ON A TREE AT WAYSIDE WHERE HE HUNG FOR TWO DAYS. Hysterical and grief-stricken, Mrs. Turner was heard to remark that she would have the lynchers arrested. When the lynch mob heard of her determination they decided they were going to teach her a lesson for such a presumption. Although she was in the eighth month of her pregnancy, THEY STRUNG HER TO A TREE AND BROKE HER NECK. THEY HANGED HER BY HER FEET AND POURED GASOLINE OVER HER. As she burned, the mob howled with glee. Then one maniac, wielding a hog-splitting knife, RIPPED HER BELLY OPEN AND THE LITTLE INFANT FELL OUT. ONE OF THE LYNCHERS STAMPED THE INFANT WITH HIS HOBNAILED SHOES INTO THE EARTH. Then the mob, driven with wild bestiality, began to howl like wolves and in their criminal sadism fired hundreds of bullets into her lifeless body.”

This my friends is the BIG DEAL. This my friends is what a noose symbolizes and if the individual that put this up or the individuals that agree with that person putting this noose up for everyone to see agrees then they are perpetuating this very act of violence and genocide of a group of human beings. So now its time to mobilize MORE THAN EVER before. It is time to come together in solidarity and struggle. Tomorrow 8am library walk WEAR ALL BLACK AND BE READY TO HAVE OUR VOICES HEARD!!!!!!!

Love and Solidarity,

Desiree Prevo, UCSD ’11

***

Dear all,

Please call on Chancellor Fox to declare a state of emergency and shut down the campus.  Last night, a group of Black students had to spend the night at the Cross because they feared for their lives if they were going to try to make it home.  This is NOT a university. Students should not fear for their lives while going to school.

It is fundamentally wrong that students and faculty of color have had to labor around the clock this past week, putting aside their study, their research, their teaching, their writing, while the rest of the campus continue as usual. It is fundamentally unfair.  Who will give them back the lost hours?  Who will compensate them for their always-uncompensated and unrecognized labor, in this case to birth an institution that is truly a place of LEARNING, in the most profound sense of that word.

We call on all of you–students, staff, faculty, union reps, librarians, and ESPECIALLY ADMINISTRATORS–to share in this labor.

Prof. Yen Espiritu, Chair, Dept. of Ethnic Studies

***

Dear Chancellor Fox:

As a Full Professor who has spent her whole 20-year career at UCSD, as Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, and as a woman faculty of color who has faced many indignities over the years, I write to ask you to exercise your leadership today to declare a state of emergency and close down the campus–in recognition of the shattered state that the campus is in.

Since the “Compton Cookout” incident, many students and faculty of color and their allies have devoted countless hours to do your/our job of teaching about racism on campus and of ensuring that UCSD lives up to its mission as a place of learning–in the most profound sense of that word.
Their labor–physical, mental, emotional, intellectual–goes uncompensated, unrecognized, and even mocked by the largely apathetic UCSD community.  Because they have had to put aside their study, their teaching, their research, their writing, to do the university work, they will again bear the brunt of the costs of being at a university that views “diversity”, at best, as a benign celebration of multiculturalism and “economic empowerment.”

As many of us face down today in the shadow of a noose, we ask that you share in this labor and that you ask the ENTIRE community at UCSD to share in this labor.  To not do so will be to benefit, once again, from the labor of the marginalized and maligned at UCSD.

Every crisis can bring forth great change.  You have an opportunity to participate in this movement of change in a real and fundamental way.  Please do so, or we risk a campus that will be deeply divided for years to come.  The campus will be shut down, one way or another.  It’d be in our best interest that you are the one to shut it down.

Sincerely,

Yen Le Espiritu, Chair, Dept. of Ethnic Studies

***

In response to the noose that was found in the library, I believe that all faculty should stage a solidarity strike today. The admin will quickly condemn “the noose incident” and repeat Chancellor Fox’s statement recent statements  reaffirming  that the University values African American and minority students and respects the communities from which they come. That is excellent.

But this is different.

We need to make OUR pain THEIR pain.

The large number of students and professors who do not yet get it need to be as inconvenienced as we feel threatened by this act. Exam time is coming round. Let them understand what it is to study in the shadow of a noose. We need to escalate this beyond Library Walk and take it into the classroom. If the students cannot attend lectures and concentrate in class study because they are hurting and angry, THEN NEITHER CAN WE TEACH IN THE SHADOW OF A NOOSE.

We should gather on Library Walk and march across campus with all students who join us. We should choose a route that will take us to the natural sciences. We should stamp our feet and chant and boom and echo in the corridors of York Hall and Peterson Hall and everywhere else that large Bio classes are taking place.

Let us meet on Library Walk asap. But we must take this further. Anxiety about disrupted classes and the coming exams are NOT the preserve of studious but uninvolved students. The magnificent leadership that has compelled this campus to recognize our common humanity are as committed and concerned about their studies as any other student on campus. We cannot sell them out. Not now! We cannot isolate them as noisy protesters who are not really interested in hard academic work.

Many of you have been around long enough to know that universities always land on their feet. Even in South Africa, where unremitting educational strikes were the norm for more than a decade, compromises were worked out in the end and students took (modified) exams and graduated. None of this will happen here. Our students will take their exams in the normal way. Nor am I suggesting that we should rise to each and every race-baiting insult on campus. But this is a non-negotiable moment to make our moral outrage clear. We should also force the admin to feel the PRACTICAL inconvenience of studying and teaching under protest and in conditions of fear. A culture of fear iis a moral threat for the oppressed. Let us make it at least make it a practical inconvenience for bystanders and the institution’s minders.

We need, too, to make it clear that this is a glimpse of the future. Racism, arrogance and cruel bigotry will run rampant when privatization and the “restructuring” of universities will expunge citizen-students of colour from campus. Who will assemble the masses on the steps of Price Center when the number of black students is pared down close to zero and study in the shadow of another noose? Who will rescue this university from the same  shameful apathy that brought us to this crisis–and which will return as soon as we drop our guard? We need to save the university from its innermost self, which is where apathy, routinized indifference and racial resentment remain deeply rooted. We need to say clearly, this noose threaten not just us, but the university.

The noose shows how this week and next week are connected. This week we said, “we are moved” to fight for our rights. Next weeek says, “We shalll not be re-moved!” from this campus. These two movements are organically bonded. This is what the noose has done. It has tethered the university’s functioning to our anger. That is what we need to make clear to the mass of students and to the university: racism and hatred are a generalized threat to the entire UCSD.

Bring UCSD to a grinding halt. I recommend that we meet on Library Walk, quickly caucus with the BSU and its allies, go on strike and stage marches that cannot be ignored.

Prof. Ivan Evans, Dept. of Sociology

***

Here are some pictures of this morning’s protest in response to the noose incident (this was organized in seven hours) . -J.F.


Sorting Through Race Relations At UCSD (Audio Interview)

February 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s a link to a great interview that aired this morning on KPBS with Glynda Davis (Assistant Chancellor of Diversity), Sara Clarke Kaplan (Assistant Professor of Ethnic and Gender Studies) and Andrea Guerrero (ACLU San Diego Field & Policy Director). This is really worth a listen.-J.F.

Click HERE to listen to the interview, download it in mp3 or to read the transcripts.

Categories: "Compton Cookout", General

Students walk out of UC San Diego teach-in

February 25, 2010 6 comments

The event was held in response to two recent racial incidents. But minority students don’t believe the university will take significant steps to boost their numbers or improve conditions, one said.


by: Larry Gordon, LA Times, 2/25/10

Reporting from San Diego – A student walkout Wednesday disrupted a UC San Diego teach-in that was intended to promote tolerance in the wake of two recent racially charged incidents. Many of those involved said the protest showed how difficult it will be for the beachside campus to overcome long-standing concerns about the small number of African American students enrolled there.

More than 1,200 students, faculty and staff packed an auditorium in the student center for the teach-in, which campus administrators organized in response to the incidents, including an off-campus party Feb. 15 that mocked Black History Month.

But halfway through the planned two-hour session, hundreds of students walked out.

The students, who were joined by many others during the afternoon, held their own noisy but peaceful rally outside the building, calling on UC San Diego leaders to improve conditions for minority students and boost their numbers.

Administrators may have thought the teach-in “would make us quiet,” said Fnann Keflezighi, vice chairwoman of the Black Student Union. But she said minority students do not believe that the university will take significant steps to improve the situation. The controversial party, she and others contended, was just the spark that ignited long-simmering ethnic tensions on the campus.

Click HERE to read the rest of the story.

More related news:

UCSD students walk out of ‘teach-in’

SD Tribune: Students walk out of UCSD teach-in: Protesters demand ‘real action’ on racial issues

UCSD students rally, march out of teach-in

Students walk out of UC San Diego teach-in on ‘Compton Cookout’

UCSD Minority Students Walk Out Of Teach-In

UCSD Students Say Deeper Racism Exists On Campus

Hundreds of students walk out of ‘teach-in’ at UCSD

Video: UCSD Black Student Union Speech (& walkout)

A Quick Note on Yesterday’s UCSD Teach-Out

Racial Crisis Heats Up at UCSD

Racial Crisis Heats Up at UCSD

Update: The teach out videos are now on tu-tubo..

Students Walk Out of the Chancellor’s Teach-In

Videos of Teach-Out following the walkout

For parts 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6, click HERE.

Categories: "Compton Cookout"

Another letter to the UCSD community

February 25, 2010 Leave a comment

A letter to the community of UCSD,

We are mad at the system that we feel has repressed us.  We want to be free, we want to overcome, we want to win.  But we cannot fight for freedom and peace, because the very nature of a fight precludes both freedom and peace—in fact, it perpetuates the cycle of oppression.  It necessitates that one party prevail over another, and in that scenario, both sides feel threatened and react accordingly.  Fighting against something merely serves to reinforce it. What is called for, then, what pounds in our hearts and brings us flocking together, is a yearning for awareness.  A shift in consciousness.

Suss it out.  On what level does the issue exist? It is a matter of human emotion and how we choose to express our feelings. Is this Warfare, or Welfare?

Discrimination is supposed to be illegal, but how can we prosecute perception?  We have arrived at the reality of how people treat each other.  This is about human rights and it’s inextricable from any other inconsideration committed by one person against another. Repression, crime, and war are all symbolic of the isolation of the psyche, just as coming together to create a movement for positive change is symbolic of the connection of the soul.

Over the course of history we have won many battles, only to keep fighting.  This is the human condition.  We are all hurt.  We’ve got to stop fighting and start feeling.  To truly succeed in making a change, we must first cultivate a deeper awareness of the atmosphere we are creating…we must infuse ourselves with compassion, understanding, and acceptance.  (This is the only state of mind in which we can actually LIVE, not just visit on the weekends.)

Secret to destroying the enemy? Love it to death.  In the light of love, the enemy disappears.  It is only our own shadow that prevents us from seeing each other and treating each other as equals.  It’s a collective effort that must be taken personally; we can only be responsible for our own emotions and emissions.  Keep an open heart.

With my deepest respect and appreciation,

Gina Tang
Office of Student Wellness, UCSD

Click HERE to access the Live Well: UC San Diego blog.

Categories: "Compton Cookout"