On Monday, February 27th 2012, a Westwood apartment inhabited by three UCLA students was vandalized with explicit anti-Hispanic and sexist slurs. This incident sheds light on to a continuing issue of campus climate at UCLA that continues to persist after previous anti-minority statements made on campus.
In 2011, former UCLA student Alexandra Wallace made waves on the internet and in the community when a viral video emerged of her disparaging Asian American students at UCLA. Her culturally insensitive and bigoted remarks drew the ire of the Asian American community as well as the larger UCLA and international communities. Within days, the incident had become well known and was a major source of controversy for the University. As a community at UCLA that has stood up against hateful speech in the past, it is our duty once again to stand in solidarity with the Latino/Latina and Chicano/Chicana community at UCLA. We cannot simply stand by idly when our friends, colleagues, and classmates are being singled out for intimidation by such hateful actions.
We wish to call attention to the importance of finding institutionalized ways to combat latent attitudes of racism and bigotry on this campus. Student groups have been lobbying UCLA administration for several years now to modify the GE requirements to require Ethnic Studies and similar classes that help draw attention to discrimination and inequality that still exist in our society today. In 2011, students passed the CUE initiative, which stated to administration that students were in support of such a modification to the GE requirements. Let this incident be a reminder that even today, these efforts are still relevant as they provide students with the resources to be the agents to combat these attitudes.
We call upon the current and future Undergraduate Students Association Councils to prioritize issues of campus climate with concerted and deliberate programs and initiatives. We also call upon USAC to be a key supporter of the GE requirement modification. And lastly, we call upon the UCLA community to stand together against these racist and bigoted attitudes on campus to send a clear message to everyone that these attitudes are not welcome in our communities, in our school, or in our country.