Noose found at UCSD Geisel Library
On Thursday February 25, 2010, a noose was found hanging from a bookshelf on the seventh floor of the UCSD Geisel library. This tragedy the third controversial incident in the past two weeks condemned by UCSD faculty and staff.
The first controversy being the “Compton Cookout” party and the second its subsequent Koala broadcast that used highly offensive language and called those who were outraged by the party “ungrateful.” A student called into the police department this morning at 9am to confess putting up the noose, according to the school’s vice chancellor.
These events have caused a major uproar on the university’s campus, and action has been taken by authorities. Minority students were quick to act upon these occurrences, and they a declared “state of emergency” on February 19 as they met with campus administrators.
Today, February 26, a rally was held as a response to the noose incident. The predominant theme of the rally being that it is not okay to hang a noose in a public university’s library in 2010 or any other time. Many students and professors from many ethnicities/backgrounds spoke (white, Latino, from UCLA, black professors, Latino professors, high school students/teachers) all united by this horrendous action.
It is clear that racial tensions at UCSD are not just about the Compton Cookout anymore. These events are evidence of an entrenched system where words and actions have been decontextualized and where people feel like it’s part of their freedom of speech to hang a noose in a public library.
Members of UCSD’s Black Student Union issued 4 pages of demands, one of which includes building a safe haven for black students to go when feeling threatened or intimidated. Faculty responded by holding a teach-in on Wednesday, and 300 outraged students came together for a rally in the Price Center. Some read poetry and others spoke to their peers about the importance of racial unity and harmony.
Many students feel threatened because of all the racial tension on campus, and several students have raised their voices about how these issues are not to be taken lightly. Black students make up less than 2% of the university’s population.
The UCSD Principles of Community reads:
“We value the cultural diversity of UCSD because it enriches our lives and the university. We celebrate this diversity and support respect for all cultures, by both individuals and the university as a whole. We are a university that adapts responsibly to cultural differences among the faculty, staff, students, and community.”
Contributing writer: Sarah Alaoui