Race relations at the University of California, San Diego

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La Jolla, CA – In the last few weeks, communities at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have experienced a series of abhorrent events surrounding race.  Members of a fraternity invited guests to celebrate Black History Month by dressing as their “favorite ghetto stereotype.”  Most recently, a student left a noose in the main library which led to additional student protests demanding the school’s administration take active steps towards recognizing the hostile climate and work with students in order to create a safer environment for marginalized communities at UCSD.  On March 1, UC President Mark Yudoff and UC Regents Chairman Russell Gould met with students in Sacramento about the recent incidents of intolerance across the UC system.

The structural mechanisms at work in these incidents are similar each time a student is sexually assaulted.  Students, staff and faculty are entitled to thrive on a safe campus.  However, as advocates in the sexual violence field know, to end campus violence requires a collaborative effort from all stakeholders as part of an ongoing commitment rooted in accountability, open dialogue, and education.

Resource on Hate Crimes

Responding to Hate Incident (PDF)

Below are links that highlight reactions by UC administration, UCSD faculty, and the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties on race relations as well as Battle Hate at UCSD, the university’s response to creating a safer campus environment.

KPBS discussion on race relations at UCSD (web link)

Chancellors Statement (PDF)

Battle Hate at UCSD (web link)

Livia Rojas, MSSW, is the Training and Resource Coordinator in the Campus Program at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) where she provides training and technical assistance to recipients of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on college and university campuses across the United States and territories. Livia has eleven years of working to advance human rights and student organizing through practice and research.

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  • Montana March 2, 2010, 4:46 PM

    (1) UCSD: A group of dumb white frat guys hold an event called a “Compton Cookout.” This pisses people off as it used Black History Month as a reason to mock black people with racist stereotypes. Also involved is some idiot who tries to use this opportunity for shameless self-promotion, who also happens to be black. To say the least, the guy is basically a wannabe Flavor Flav.

    (2) UCSD: Another dumb white frat guy gets mad that blacks are offended of being relegated to a bigoted stereotype. He tries to hold another racist event.

    (3) UCSD: Meanwhile, a terrible student media publication (which, after viewing their website consists of all white staff, nudity, staff wrestling each other, and well, not much else), pushes their limits calling black students “ungrateful n——” – not just that word, but also that apparently the black students owed them something. They have a reputation of being trashy, and at this point, administration and faculty rush to condemn racism by students of the campus and various protests begin. Funding is also cut from all student media at UCSD, creating an extra bitter controversy.

    (4) UCSD: On Friday of that week, a noose is found in the library. Everything gets worked in a frenzy and – something I’ll address later – a large amount of white commenter’s on the internet begin claiming that is was probably a black student who planted it in order to gain more sympathy. In addition, there are rumors of a threatening note sent to the Guardian and a second noose, there was no second noose, and the threat seems to be just a rumor.

    (6) UCSD: Protests basically happen at all schools in support of the students. There are various sit-ins, and teach-ins, and what have you. School administrators become pushed to be more active in fixing what’s going on.

    I have not seen this noose person, but most of you blame her and conveniently forget wear this all originated.

    Instead of an apology there has been steady escalation and now the noose. So, what exactly will the excuses be for this cowardly act that brings up memories of the confederate KKK of the South in their attempts to keep slavery and the non-whites in fear? Is it that are uneducated, is it that their parents planted these seeds of hate, is it that they are live in fear because our President in the white house is not 100% white. In my opinion this is what the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. These kids follow what their dullard leaders say, they listen to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards, they are young and dumb. Are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think?