Saturday, June 23

Students protest campus discrimination, give list of demands to UCLA administration

Various student diversity groups on campus gathered in support of increased diversity on campus in a march from Meyerhoff Park to Murphy Hall.

Various student diversity groups on campus gathered in support of increased diversity on campus in a march from Meyerhoff Park to Murphy Hall.

Agnijita Kumar

About 60 students marched from Meyerhoff Park to Murphy Hall to present a list of demands in response to campus discrimination to the UCLA administration during a Thursday afternoon protest.

The protest against discrimination and hate crimes was organized by a variety of campus groups, including MEChA de UCLA, the Asian Pacific Coalition, the Afrikan Student Union, the Muslim Students Association and Latino sororities and fraternities.

It came in response to a hate crime last week when a North Village apartment door was vandalized with racist and sexist slurs. Students were also protesting that Associated Students UCLA, between 2010 and this past February, sold a Billabong shirt with the image from the Mexican flag of an eagle with a snake in its talons. The image, a revered cultural symbol to indigenous communities, appeared over the words “Still Filthy.”

Around noon, students waving posters and wearing pink tape with the words “I demand equality” in black print gathered on the grass outside Kerckhoff Hall to watch a traditional Aztec ceremony.

Afterward, third-year psychology student Kristine Phan, a resident of the apartment that was vandalized, and second-year international development studies student Eric Adams spoke to the protesters about their experiences with hate crimes.

Paula Cruz Takash, the vice president of the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, and Sarah Mallory, spokeswoman for Councilmember Paul Koretz’s office, also spoke out against discrimination.

The protest then moved to Murphy Hall, where students silently lined up on both sides of the hallway outside of Chancellor Gene Block’s office. Representatives from the crowd then entered the office and presented their demands to Janina Montero, vice chancellor for student affairs.

Among the demands were calls for Block to make a formal statement condemning the hate crime and the sale of the shirt, as well as for the administration to support the adoption of a UCLA diversity requirement.

The protesters also demanded the creation of a campus multicultural center, a formal apology by ASUCLA for selling the shirt and what they characterized as a need for more accountability to students from university police.

UCLA spokesman Steve Ritea could not confirm when administration would respond to the demands.

Compiled by Antonio Gonzales, Bruin contributor. With reports by Golmah Zarinkhou, Bruin contributor.

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