Students Nationwide Protest with UC San Diego | Not in Our Town

Students Nationwide Protest with UC San Diego

San Diego, CA-

Thousands of students nationwide are supporting minority students at the University of California, San Diego after a racially charged off-campus party increased tensions at this Southern California school (UCSD).

UCSD's administration sponsored a "Teach-In" February 24 to address student concerns, but meanwhile other University of California campuses hosted their own protests to support San Diego students, including Berkeley, Irvine, Los Angeles, Davis, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz, along with other schools in California and across the nation. University of California, Irvine and UC Los Angeles held coordinated sit-ins at their Chancellors' Offices. Yesterday, students at Berkeley dressed in black and held a silent solidarity protest. Tensions remain high at many UC campuses.

The fracas stems from a Feb. 15 off-campus party called "The Compton Cookoff" which has been linked to a fraternity. Attendees were urged to dress and act according to offensive African-American stereotypes. The invitation asked people to "wear chains, cheap clothing, and speak loudly." Women were advised that "Ghetto chicks usually have gold teeth, start drama and fights, and wear cheap clothing." A broadcast on UCSD's Student Run Television Network aired a program in which a controversial comedic group "The Koala" endorsed the party using the "N-" word and calling African Americans "ungrateful".

On February 26, a noose was discovered hanging in the seventh floor of the Giesel Library. The Black Student Union (BSU) and other student organizations have implored Chancellor Marye Anne Fox  to take action to ensure safety for students of color. “The university is allowing the African-American community to be racially demoralized by a group of students on campus,” declared a BSU statement. "UCSD must realize that this is a state of emergency."

The administration states that disciplinary action is difficult because the party was not UCSD-sanctioned and took place off campus.

More than 1,200 students and faculty members showed up at last Wednesday's UCSD "Teach-In," but 900 walked out after an hour and organized their own "teach-out" at another campus location. BSU-led rallies and protests continue this week. "They thought it{Teach-In] would make us quiet,” said BSU Vice Chairwoman Fnann Keflezighi. "The party was just the spark that ignited long-simmering ethnic tensions on the campus." Students wore black last Friday to protest the noose incident and occupied the Chancellor's Office, demanding action to quell the environment of fear on campus. Chancellor Fox condemned the noose as "abhorent and untenable," but said she could not adhere to student demands to shut the university down while the situation is resolved.

Dr. Jody Blanco, a UCSD literature professor, wrote this letter describing why Filipino student organizations should stand with the Black Student Union.

Read statements of support from the UCSD Faculty Coalition and other UCSD organizations supporting the battle against hate!

Have you ever faced similar incidents at your campus? Share your thoughts with us!


I think it's important that all student orgs across the state and country come into solidarity and take a stand with UCSD right now because there is immense power in numbers. Racism is perpetuated by people who think they can get away with it and the best way to create consequences for actions is through intolerance. By standing together I think the message can come in loud and clear that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere, and that if one person hurts the entire coalition feels it. It's not enough to be aware people need to be active too.

 The issues are serious ones and for that reason need to be taken seriously. By this I mean not only meeting as many of their demands as possible but also recognizing the severity of the ignorance they have been put face to face with. It's hard being underrepresented anywhere, especially on a college campus that becomes your home during your years there. If students aren't safe... any group of students then it's a problem; one that should be felt by everyone, even those on the "outside" of the "community" everyone needs to understand their connection and feel affected.

The environment of UCSD is similarto that of UCSB but I also think UCSB is unique in terms of it's student population and awareness. We've led some marches and I've even personally participated in some protests against "gangster parties" but for me the main criminal here is ignorance. Most of the communities we talked were extrememly open, and more than anything, towards me personally anyway, revealed confusion as to why it was offensive more than anything. I got multiple apologies even and I think it's better these days; although I will never be naive enough to think the fight is over. In SD the climate seems to be one more rooted in hatred. It sounds like the overt offensive nature of the actions being committed there are literally creating an unsafe environment. It's horrible because you'd think people would be more conscious of the consequences to being malicious because of the "quality" education we're all receiving, more understanding of why things need to change and why it's never ok to tolerate racism. I'm hopeful for what's next in terms of changing the mentality in the hearts and minds of some of those students who still don't see the error in their ways. As much as I'd love to count the BSU here in SB as somewhat lucky for not having to deal with something so severe I think its important to get across to you that I also see myself as part of the larger coalition. I just wish there was more I could do.

Kena, thanks for commenting.  I think you're so right about these students needing to know that other students around the country (even the world!) support them, especially when they are in such a vulnerable position.  It's interesting to hear that people have been receptive when you approach them about the "gangster parties."  I wonder if anti-racist parties would be an effective way to combat that specific brand of ignorance.

I think this kind of movements are so helpful to change the world, specially the minds of the people who judge others just by their skin color or nationality. I t is good that students began with this movement to try to end with the discrimination and the racism against african people. Because it is not fear that they  are being treated like that. I believe everybody has the same rights and everybody is equal it doesn't matter anything, I hope they get their goal and keep doing this to end with this big issue that is happening in the society and all around the world.

I hope that the things changes for you and for all the people around the world who are passing for the same

I wish I was there to participate in this march. I cannot believe there are still some ignorants out there. We have an African- American President for the love of God.

I think it's really important that there are som people care about other, it's not like this al the time. As we know problems in communities are increasing. Also, we have noticed that there is not enough to be aware people need to be active too. All the things/issues that are happening  need to be more serious. In addition I can say that I have not faced any of those problems yet, but I think that this should be really pauinful. If this happens to me one day, I won't have any idea in how to survive.....!!!    

I think this really sad becuase in our world people are still judging  things basesd on their color or race becuase they look different. People need to gete change and need to change their mind and understand one thing that we all are human being.

Hello!!!! First of all, my name is Miguel Penaranda. What I think about this article is that it is really awesome how people can get organize to protest in something that really bothers people. Also, I think that It is a really good way to protest. What I mean in a peaceful way. That is important because in that way people show that they respect others. Also, I hope that those studetns continue with that protest until they get results. That is something that really encourages me to have hope in this world. 

what a powerful protest, if those racism could one day stop! I also am black, and i am from Ivory Coast. my name is Check Diop, and I am a 11th grader at Newcomers High School.I would say , in our today world be a black and more immigrant, it;s not easy thing. I hope this ffight won;t stay in vain, they really must do something for the students and all others who are victime of racism.It's just too sad, and too bad to be treated as if you are an animal, just because of your skin color. you doing a great job, please continue fighting !! "haut les coeurs!!!!"

It’s amazing how powerful we can be if we are united, and work as one. When I started reading this article I didn’t feel any reaction. I thought that it was another protest for another difficult situation, but I continued reading and I saw the pictures of these young activists and I realized that every bad situation needs to be changed and I believe that we are the ones who will do it.

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