A daylong protest at the UC San Diego chancellor’s office ended inconclusively on Friday evening, as students from the university’s Black Student Union rejected the administration’s response to their demands but chose to withdraw and regroup rather than continue the occupation through the weekend.
The students had been angered by a series of incidents at the UCSD campus — a racist invitation to an off-campus “Compton Cookout” party, a broadcast on student-run television that used racial slurs to mock black student activists, and the hanging of a noose in the university library.
The BSU is set to resume its protest at ten o’clock this morning. I’ll be following the story here as it develops over the course of the day.
9:45 am California time | The UCSD has released a new statement on the campus crisis. It identifies six specific steps that the university has taken in response to the incidents, and affirms the chancellor’s “personal commitment to making diversity issues a continuing campus priority; improving the overall campus climate to welcome and respect differences; improving the compositional diversity of the campus; and developing a curriculum that reflects the multi-cultural richness of the region.”
The statement also contains the news that campus police have been consulting with both local and federal prosecutors on the noose investigation. It makes no mention of the confessed perpetrator’s alleged accomplices.
11:00 am | The Guardian, UCSD’s student newspaper, has printed a statement that it claims is from the student who hanged the noose in the library. She claims that on Tuesday, two days before the noose was found, a friend of hers fashioned it from a piece of rope she had found on the ground, “without thinking of any of its connotations or the current racial climate at UCSD.” She then carried it with her to the library, “and ended up hanging it at my desk.” It was, she said, “a mindless act and stupid mistake.” When she left the library hours later, “I simply forgot about it.”
The student says that she didn’t learn of the noose’s discovery until Friday morning. “Ashamed and embarrassed,” she called campus police and confessed. “As a minority student who sympathizes with the students that have been affected by recent issues on campus,” she writes, “I am distraught to know that I have unintentionally added to their pain.”
An editor’s note at the end of the statement says that the paper “has verified the author’s authenticity.”
11:30 am | Because the UCSD Guardian so far only has the student’s apology posted as part of a PDF of today’s paper, I have posted the full statement in text form in its own post.