Alec Weisman, Editor-in-Chief
Much has happened at UCSD that needs to be analyzed.
Rumors of a KKK Style hood found on the Statue of Theodore Seuss Geisel next to the library have been spreading since approximately 11:15 last night. The UCSD Police shut down Geisel library early and roped off the area. This has been confirmed by a close friend of mine who was running by Geisel at the time. However the presence of a hood have not been verified by police. We will fill you in on this story as we get more information.
UPDATE: UCSD HAS FINALLY CONFIRMED HOODED SEUSS:“UC San Diego police are investigating the discovery about 11 p.m. Monday of what appeared to be a white pillowcase that had been crudely fashioned into a KKK-style hood with a hand-drawn symbol. It was placed on a statue outside the main campus library, and a rose was inserted into the statue’s fingers.
The items have been removed and the police are processing them for evidence, including fingerprint and DNA analysis. An aggressive police investigation is underway. University officials noted that this incident will be pursued with all of its authority, and individuals who are responsible will be punished to the full extent of the Student Code of Conduct and all applicable laws.”
As for the noose. What do we know? At about 10:30 it was noticed by the police to have been hung in Geisel Library on the 7th floor. A female turned herself in, admitted she had two accomplices, has been suspended, but not charged with a hate crime.Her ethnicity is unknown, although she claims to be a minority. This situation seems somewhat suspicious. However the school is coming very close to possibly violating FERPA. From our research it appears likely that she is a student in Warren College. Questions remain as to her identity and any connections to the BSU that she might have.
On Friday, massive protests occurred on library walk beginning at about 8 am. For video footage of these protests, visit this youtube account.
As the day progressed, the protesters grew more angry. After receiving the response by the Chancellor to their list of 32 demands, BSU officers called it a “bullshit-ass document” before proceeding to occupy the chancellor’s office until sundown. According to the Associated Press, “The administration plans to resume talks with the students Monday, said Danny Widener, a history professor who supports the Black Student Union and participated in Friday’s discussions.” This is the same professor who is called out by Jiggaboo Jones on the Roger Hedgecock show for using the students by making the problems at UCSD worse. Jiggaboo Jones argues that “Some of these groups like The “Black Student Union” and their connected “political activists” won’t allow this progress because it threatens their very existence.” Roger Hedgecock wrote his own piece covering the controversy over the Compton Cookout and his discussion on the radio with Jiggaboo Jones. Jiggaboo Jones was also interviewed by Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson discussing the controversy at UCSD.
However, interestingly enough, the BSU has now reorganized and seemingly updated their list of demands. In fact, the BSU just reorganized them together by topic, while making demands that the University respond to them by March 4th.
Also, a letter to the editor in the Guardian by a student writer for the Office of Student Wellness presented a less angry approach to solving racism, while the UC Catholic Community at the Newman Center and the Muslim Students Association at UCSD and people from other denominations responded to the noose incident by placing roses and messages of healing on the 7th floor of Geisel.
The Battle Hate website of UCSD has some very interesting information hidden within it.
Links include the Academic code of conduct, statements by the UCSD administration, Associated Students, and Alumni have been doing to improve the campus climate, a press release by UCSD regarding the teach-in,and links to the ethnic studies department website.
Racial tensions continue to rise at other University of California schools.
• At UC Irvine, an opinion piece by Hanna Guthrie in the New University Newspaper sparked a backlash of angry students against her well thought out argument. In it, she writes “Frankly, I don’t even like the term African-American to begin with. First of all, not all blacks are from Africa, and second, “hyphenating” everyone’s racial category in a country that, today, accepts people from all nationalities and backgrounds is a modern-day form of segregation. I wish we could all just be Americans.”
Also, students held a sit in on the fifth floor of Aldrich Hall on Wednesday, presenting a list of demands to the University, claiming to be tied to labor protests. Most of these demands are even more outlandish than those made by the BSU at UCSD. The Chancellor of UCI issued a statement on the situation at UCSD.
• At UC Berkeley, protests against the student fee increase have turned violent, as “as a crowd fought with police and set trash cans ablaze [along with breaking] into a former library facility under renovation and shattered some windows and sprayed graffiti inside. [In the Telegraph Avenue shopping district a crowd of about 200] threw bottles and rocks at police.”
• At UCLA on Friday, members of the Afrikan Student Union occupied Murphy Hall giving UCLA administrators demands ordering the “1. Closure of UCSD until there is a full investigation of events surrounding Compton Cook Out and the noose left hanging in Library.
2. Expulsion of offending students and dismantling of The Koala newspaper.
3. Diversity needs be met by March 4th. (see BSU demands from UCSD)”
In other news:
The Governator decided to weigh in on the situation, saying “I am deeply troubled by the horrific incidents that recently took place on various campuses of the University of California system. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior in our system of higher education or anywhere else and it will not be tolerated.”
The Los Angeles Civil Rights Association has said that “we are asking that the chancellor there suspend the people who are responsible and/or expel them for participating in activities that are not healthy for all the students who attend that university. We will not stand for the racism.”
The UCSD Guardian covered various aspects of the BSU’s demands and their potential feasibility, barely covers the AS body meeting’s controversy, the walk out by the BSU from the Teach-in, and featured an editorial by a leader of the Black Student Union.
The media malpractice continues, as evidenced by stories by KPBS, LA Times, and the New York Times. The San Diego City Beat called the Koala “bottom feeders who thrive on attention and use the First Amendment as a shield to protect their sick senses of humor from those who understandably would like to censor them. Folks inside and outside of the campus community played right into Gregorian’s hand when they reacted to his grab for the spotlight.” Although I don’t necessarily disagree with most of this statement, I wonder why they had to use this phrasing for their editorial. Also, the Union Tribune finally bought the Koala beers for an interview.
On the plus side however, some of the articles have been superb in their coverage and analysis of the situation. The UCSD Guardian’s editor board wrote another great piece on the situation at UCSD. The North County Times wrote a spectacular defense of the First Amendment in their most recent article about the controversy. Also, the California Review articles have been cited on a political science job forum. We also found the clip where the California Review was mentioned during the initial BSU protest because of our “Underwear Bomber” cartoon.
FIRE released six articles over the past week explaining the situation at UCSD. They outlined the new UC wide harassment policy as preventing UC administrators from prosecuting organizers of the “Compton Cookout.” They also cite our article on the California Review when reporting on AS upholding the funding freeze. FIRE also unveiled the double standard by UCSD administration between their reaction against the Koala and their actions against the Voz Fronteriza which in March 1995 advocated on behalf of killing US Border Patrol Agents. FIRE explained that the noose found on UCSD is not an example of protected speech, and explained that this action made free speech issues harder to argue at UCSD. FIRE also explained they were not condemning the Koala as hate speech. Finally, FIRE’s most recent article outlines the situation at UCSD and the shutdown of free speech.
As for the Associated Students, in 2009 the Student Voice Slate described themselves as “a progressive student coalition advocating on behalf of COMMUNITY in all its forms. We want to unify and strengthen UCSD by creating a student government which prioritizes ALL members of the student body.
STUDENT VOICE! is built on the three principles of:
I. STUDENT EMPOWERMENT: give ALL students the ability to have their voice heard – YOUR voice is OUR voice.
II. ACCESS and AFFORDABILITY: ensuring ALL students have the opportunity to attend the university — education is a RIGHT, not a privilege!
III. CAMPUS COMMUNITY: unifying the campus while ensuring that diverse communities are represented”
Apparently the only voice they care about is the the one of censorship.
An UCSD Website’s profile about God King Gupta. According to this, he “knows how to grab an opportunity when he sees one.”
We also just got an update from God King Gupta regarding the media committee that he keeps talking about, but no update as to when/where it will be meeting to discuss changes in UCSD funding policy.
However interestingly enough, The Collective Voice, the newspaper of SPACES (and by proxy the BSU), has just released its second issue of the year during the funding freeze because it is paid for by SPACES and rather than the AS. So they are getting school funding but the 33 student run papers cannot. See our previous article where we discuss SPACES. Hypocrisy much?