In advance of today’s Campus Climate Council meeting (2-4pm in Chancellor’s Complex 111A), the SDFA is speaking out against racist comments and student harassment that occurred at a recent Associated Students meeting. There, Students for Justice in Palestine proposed a resolution to divest in corporations they believe profit from violent conflict (see the resolution here). Instead of a fair hearing of their viewpoint, students were harassed and verbally assaulted. We have sent the following letter to the administration requesting that they act appropriately and immediately to this incident.
If you would like to stand up and speak out about our campus climate, we encourage you to attend today’s meeting.
March 6, 2012
Chancellor Marye Anne Fox
Executive Vice-Chancellor-Academic Affairs Suresh Subramani
Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs – Penny Rue
Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination – Lori Chamberlain
Chair of the Campus Climate Commission
Subject: Hostile Climate at UCSD campus
We are most disturbed by news of events that took place on Wednesday night (2/29/12) during the Associated Students Meeting at which time students from SAAC and students from Justice in Palestine who presented a Divestment Resolution were verbally attacked by both UCSD faculty and staff present.
Students report that at this meeting one particular faculty member verbally harassed a student outside of the 4th floor Forum and that one staff member at the meeting called the people of color in the room “pieces of shit” that made her wish to work elsewhere.
Differences of opinion over political issues are to be valued and respected; there are no circumstances that can justify the type of ethnic harassment and intimidation that was witnessed by students on Wednesday night, especially on the part of UCSD faculty and staff. We ask that your office look into these offensive and shameful events that make a mockery of the campus Principles of Community. This is not the first time that incidents of this nature have occured on campus and we would ask that the administration take action.
The Board of the San Diego Faculty Association
Ivan Evans, President
Luis Martin-Cabrera, Vice-President
Yen Le Espiritu