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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

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Incidents, protests spread at UC campuses

A firestorm about racially and ethnically charged incidents at several University of California campuses spread Tuesday as UC San Diego announced a KKK-style hood was found on campus and students in Los Angeles and Irvine demonstrated against intolerance.

At UC Irvine, about 250 people gathered for a “student solidarity speakout” to condemn the recent spate of racist incidents at UC San Diego that targeted black students and another incident last month at UC Davisthat targeted a Jewish student with a swastika carved on her door, said Marya Bangee, an event organizer.

The protests came the same day that UC San Diego announced the discovery of a white pillowcase fashioned into a KKK-style hood — the third racist incident around the campus in as many weeks — and a day after UC Santa Cruz officials found an image of a noose scribbled on the inside of a bathroom door.

Officials found the hood, which bore a hand-drawn circle and cross, on a statue of
children’s book author Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, outside the main campus library late Monday. A rose had been inserted between the statue’s fingers.
Detectives were analyzing the pillowcase for fingerprints and DNA evidence, a university statement said.

UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox vowed to punish the culprits to the fullest extent of the law.

“We will not tolerate these despicable actions,” she said in the statement.

The hood came on the heels of two other UC San Diego incidents: a February off-campus, student-organized “Compton Cookout” party that mocked Black History Month with ghetto stereotypes and a noose found hanging from a library bookshelf last week.

UC San Diego campus police said they had completed their investigation into the noose incident and turned their results in to the city attorney on Tuesday for possible hate crime charges.

One of the students responsible for the noose apologized to the university community in an anonymous letter published Monday in the campus newspaper. She said the noose was formed while she and friends were playing around with a piece of rope and had no meaning as a lynching symbol.

The student said she is not black, but is a minority.

The incident also is under investigation by law enforcement agencies, campus spokeswoman Judy Piercey said.

The incidents are disturbing and most likely the work of “outliers” using offensive and outrageous behavior to gain notoriety, said Brian Levin, director of California State University’s Center for Study of Hate and Extremism.

He said surveys show young people are less prejudiced than ever, but “these things touch a nerve, and these folks know it.”

UCLA demonstrators called on administrators to institute a required ethnic studies course that would teach students about other cultures.

At UC San Diego, new initiatives include recruiting more minority faculty, instituting a mentoring program, creating an African American Resource Center and ensuring funding for the diversity office, Piercey said.

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