Friday, August 18

USAC unanimously passes resolution condemning anti-Semitism on campus


More than 100 students spoke about the resolution at Tuesday's undergraduate student government meeting. Most commenters voiced support for the resolution and shared their experiences with anti-Semitism on campus. (Jintak Han/Daily Bruin)

More than 100 students spoke about the resolution at Tuesday's undergraduate student government meeting. Most commenters voiced support for the resolution and shared their experiences with anti-Semitism on campus. (Jintak Han/Daily Bruin)



The original version of this article contained information that was inaccurate and has been changed. Not all of the four councilmembers who initially voted against Rachel Beyda's appointment asked her how she would remain neutral on the Judicial Board.

This article was updated on March 11 at 12:45 a.m.

The undergraduate student government unanimously passed “A Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism” at its Tuesday meeting after more than 100 students made public comments in support of the measure.

The resolution, drafted by members of Hillel at UCLA and Undergraduate Students Association Council President Avinoam Baral, condemns recent incidents of anti-Semitism and events some say were discriminatory, including vandalism at UC Davis where swastikas were painted on the door of a Jewish fraternity and the recent questioning of a Jewish student by UCLA undergraduate student government councilmembers.

The resolution also calls upon USAC to fight anti-Semitism in the future and for councilmembers to attend diversity training to learn about the history of anti-Semitism and how it manifests.

Almost all of the public commenters spoke in support of the resolution. A few students voiced concerns that the resolution didn’t do enough to protect speech that criticized the government of Israel.

“USAC’s language was inappropriate,” said Jaimeson Cortez, a third-year political science student and a member of multiple USAC offices, during public comments. “Political affiliation should be called into question – but never ethnicity or religion.”

Jewish student leaders asked USAC Transfer Representative Negeen Sadeghi-Movahed and general representatives Sofia Moreno Haq, Fabienne Roth and Manjot Singh to co-sponsor the resolution in response to concerns they raised at the council’s Feb. 10 meeting where Rachel Beyda, a second-year economics student, was appointed to serve on the Judicial Board.

Roth, Sadeghi-Movahed, Singh and Haq initially voted against Beyda’s appointment after some councilmembers asked her how she would remain neutral given her affiliation with the Jewish community on campus. After an administrative representative raised concerns of discrimination, the council unanimously approved Beyda’s appointment.

General Representative 3 Fabienne Roth asked Rachel Beyda, who was nominated to join the judicial board, how she would remain neutral despite her connection to the Jewish community on campus. Four councilmembers initially voted against Beyda's appointment, though she was eventually unanimously confirmed.  (Jintak Han/Daily Bruin)
General Representative 3 Fabienne Roth asked second-year economics student Rachel Beyda, who was nominated to join the Judicial Board, how she would remain neutral despite her connection to the Jewish community on campus. Four councilmembers initially voted against Beyda’s appointment, though she was eventually unanimously confirmed. (Jintak Han/Daily Bruin)

The council recently took down the USAC Live! video of the meeting because of concerns about councilmembers’ safety. On Tuesday, USAC voted 8-1-3 to make the video available again on YouTube.

Rachel Frenklak, who was at the meeting where Beyda was appointed, recalled her experience during public comment at Tuesday’s meeting.

“To see one of the most competent people I’ve ever known be torn down for her identity is unacceptable,” said Frenklak, a third-year physiological science student.

Baral said he thinks the resolution is necessary in light of the various high-profile incidents at several college campuses, including UCLA and UC Davis.

“It’s important for the UCLA student government to show support for the Jewish community,” Baral said.

Baral also said he thinks the resolution is relevant to himself because he is Jewish.

Before voting on the resolution, Haq said she thinks the comments at the Feb. 10 meeting were misconstrued by the press and on social media, but she condemns anti-Semitism.

Singh said as a Sikh he understands the bias people of a religious minority can face and he doesn’t wish discrimination on anyone.

Sadeghi-Movahed said she thinks some questions councilmembers asked Beyda oppressed the Jewish community. She added that she thinks the councilmembers who made the comments have to work to repair the relationship between themselves and the Jewish community.

“Personally, I don’t think that (the apology and resolution) suffice, but I will only speak for myself,” Sadeghi-Movahed said.

Roth said she doesn’t think the resolution should be the only solution to address ignorance and anti-Semitism on campus, but she thinks it is a good first step because it includes diversity training.

The dates and format of the councilmember diversity trainings are not yet set.

Contributing reports by Sujung Hahn and Jillian Frankel, Bruin contributors.

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  • TheIGofSA

    If then had an gram in integrity they four would resign Alas, they have none. They are bigots and meant what they said and how much they hate Jews

  • Bruin

    You know UCLA has gone down the drain when we have to pass resolutions in student council to condemn antisemitism…..

    • ThisIsPalestine

      UCLA is looking to sanction one form of anti-Semitism (BDS) while condemning another (discriminating against Jewish applicants for J Board positions). I almost feel sorry for the four students: they probably thought that after the passage of that BDS resolution it was now open season on Jews at UCLA and are now confused why they landed in such hot water.

  • Adam OnWeb

    From the above article: “Before voting on the resolution, Haq said she thinks the comments at the
    Feb. 10 meeting were misconstrued by the press and on social media, but
    she condemns anti-Semitism.”

    Ms. Haq, “the comments” were part of a 40 minute deliberation where four members of student government basically agreed that Jews can’t be trusted. Based on that conclusion, you four voted to deny Rachel a position on the board. Hadn’t a faculty member stepped in and stopped it, the four of you would have committed a crime.

    The press and social media didn’t “misconstrue” anything. They published the video. They published the minutes from the meeting. Everything was in context.

    Your continued denial speaks volumes about you and your own biases. If you had an ounce of integrity, you’d resign your post.

    Until you either resign, or at least take responsibility for your despicable behavior, your condemnation of anti-semitism will remain insincere and meaningless.

    Honestly, how did someone like you ever get into a position where you pass judgement on others?

    • Jonathan

      Despicable. Haq should resign.

      • Cal1234

        Agreed, Haq and Roth should both resign. This will follow them for their entire careers. If you resign, you may come out in a better state as it will show that the University is more important than your selfish biases. But your quotes show that you have no sincere apology in you.

      • TheIGofSA

        all four should resign

  • Adam OnWeb

    From the article above: “A few students voiced concerns that the resolution didn’t do enough to protect speech that criticized the government of Israel.”

    There are several governments in Africa that are notoriously corrupt and brutal. Some have the worst human rights records on earth. In Darfur ALONE, the genocide has resulted in over 500,000 dead and over 2 1/2 million displaced.

    And yet – with all that – when I read about the disgusting racist chants against African-Americans at OU – and how they were widely condemned – I didn’t read a single word about anyone’s concern that the condemnation might some how hinder their “free speech” when criticizing Africa.

    Clearly, they have PLENTY of “diversity training” to do at UCLA.

    • walt kovacs

      something tells me that absolutely nothing will change on that campus

      • Adam OnWeb

        On the contrary, look at what I posted above.

        Chancellor Block said that this was a “teaching moment”.

        See how they’ve learned to cloak their antisemitism within criticism of Israel.

        Another fine “teaching moment” at UCLA.

        • DogOfDooM

          I agree, the “teaching moment” is figuring out a better way to conceal your constitutional violations. Two of them are not U.S. citizens, the irony palpable.

    • JustPassingBy

      Know anyone who is “anti Africa”? What about anyone who is “anti Israel?”

      Thought so. There’s your answer.

      • Adam OnWeb

        Your wrong…

        Like I mentioned above, there are plenty of conflicts in Africa and people have certainly taken sides in them.

        Boko-Haram kidnapped children from schools in Nigeria and the entire world was outraged.

        The worst genocide on earth is taking place in Durfar and the Sudan.

        Libya is in a civil war where hundreds die everyday and many people feel an international force needs to go in and restore order.

        And I could go on. Plenty of individuals, countries and organizations all over the world speak out and take sides in these conflicts. I wouldn’t be surprised if some African-Americans in OU belong to groups and organizations that take positions in these conflicts – BUT NO ONE WOULD EVER suggest that the racism against African-Americans in Ohio University has ANYTHING to do with the problems to Durfar or Boko-Haram or Libya.

        To even suggest it would be completely upsurd – and yes, it would be racist.

        But apparently, the Jews in UCLA can’t get a resolution against antisemitism without some students – and even the school newspaper – suggesting that the resolution requires some language for “protected speech” to criticize Israeli policy.

        The Jews in UCLA have as much to do with Israeli policy as the African-Americans in Ohio University have to do with policies in Africa – but apparently, the antisemitic culture in UCLA has to find some excuse to discriminate against Jews.

        This is EXACTLY how they originally discriminated against Rachel Beyda. There is no difference. Nothing has changed.

  • Freegeg Goodwin

    Racism=Power+Prejudice

    The students at OU SAE displayed prejudice when they chanted a song. The students at UCLA displayed fervent racism. They attempted to deny an educational opportunity to a Jewish person for no other reason than being Jewish. When will they be expelled?

    • TheIGofSA

      Never UCLA is really ok with anti-semitics, they just don’t like being caught showing their hatred of Jews

  • walt kovacs

    so what exactly changes on campus?

    will the myriad of jew hating professors employed by ucla be cited for hate speech? nope

    will this bring an end to israel apartheid week or any of the other events sjp and msa will hold:

    this resolution just gave the jew haters on ucla campus cover

  • M2000

    They pass the resolution after they were exposed for being proponents of it…wish they’d be kicked out like the fraternity at Oklahoma University, oh wait those guys were white.

  • Mister Real

    Haq has to go! She just doesn’t get it. Now she’s blaming the press and social media for the words that came out of her own mouth?. What world is she living in?.

  • Sanych

    Ok, this is your “teaching moment” – I could not even find this “resolution”. But I bet it is just meaningless liberal bs.

    The only thing these lowlife antisemites have learned is to speak from both sides of their mouth and hide their bias.

    It is a shame that spineless Hillel participates in this charade. There will be no change until Jews grow some backbone…

  • MNix

    It’s worth noting to me that none of the public statements or “apologies” issued by the four anti-semetic council members has included a public apology directed to Rachel Beyda herself, the woman they slandered. None has acknowledged that the votes they cast against her were morally and ethically wrong. While apologizing in general for the language they used, none has acknowledged that prejudice is the thoughts and attitudes that underlie the words and actions, nor has any acknowledged that prejudice as a defect of their own characters.

    In short, I don’t think any of these council members “get” how they’re wrong, They just want to say whatever they need to say to make the bad PR go away. And Haq, apparently, can’t even go that far.

  • Bonnie Geller

    It appears that if university students chant anti-Black song they get expelled and nationally condemned but if a university student states that a Jew should not be on the student council because she is a Jew, silence from the wonderful progressive media such as PBS or from the WH or anyone else. Disgusting! What a laugh the so-called the best country in the world really is.

  • contrarian90

    Jewish Voice for Peace condemned the resolution. Ironic, since they seem to wear their “judaism” as a way to constantly batter Israel, and never really participate in any part of the Jewish community in any town that they are in.

    And Roth sure seems curious to me. As a public figure, she should know better than to question someone’s ability to make decision based on religion, creed, orientation. Who indeed voted for her? Use your power judiciously, Ms. Roth.

  • arturo

    Imagine a world, where a university in the United States has to take a stand against Jew hatred. Of course, Jew hatred was virulent in the 1930s in the US and elsewhere. In 2015 it should not even be an issue! As Moslems are cutting off heads around the world, the university “elite” are focusing on hating Jews.

  • Cal1234

    The response of the 4 councilmembers is so wrong. In particular Roth, and also Haq still do not understand what went wrong. They take zero responsibility for their actions. They are also responsible for alumni donations to cease from many corners – Ms. Roth, please understand – you are in the wrong, you used religion as a criteria for a student office in a public university, you are an adult, and as such, you should take responsibility instead of blaming others. You must resign. You must resign. You must resign.

  • Adam OnWeb

    From the article above: “Almost all of the public commenters spoke in support of the resolution.”

    “ALMOST ALL?” Apparently, there’s still bigots in favor of maintaining the antisemitic culture at UCLA.

    • Jenny Librero

      I just read from a source that Students for Justice In Palestine (SJP) opposed the resolution – can anyone confirm?

      • Adam OnWeb

        I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Paul G

    I am not Jewish or at UCLA, but it doesn’t matter. These anitsemitic students are no different
    than the fraternity at the University of Oklahoma. The Jboard needs to learn the laws of the U.S.A first. One day a Jewish Dr, nurse or fireman may save one of your lives. Will the ask what your affiliations are? I think not.

  • Jenny Librero

    The four students who attempted to deny Ms Beyda her civil rights need to resign. I don’t care if they are sorry (although some clearly are not), they have violated the trust and authority granted to them in one of the most insidious manners possible .

    When USAC and Chancellor Block say “anti-Semitism will not be tolerated at UCLA” they need to actually mean anti-Semitism will not be tolerated at UCLA and hold those who engage in it accountable for their actions. A true “teaching moment” would not exclude the lesson that there are consequences for engaging in discriminatory behavior for both the victims and the perpetrators. Without appropriate action, any words of condemnation are dishonest.

    Fabienne Roth, Negeen Sadeghi-Movahed, Manjot Singh and the clearly unrepentant Sofia Moreno Haq must resign.

  • Paul G

    Jboard, this isn’t Snapchat where you can just remove the video. The damage is done. The only thing that should be removed are the four members of your board. In all honesty they need to be sent packing
    their bags. You not only bullied Miss Beyda. You tried to humiliate her.
    I get it I’m not a student. I’m old enough t have a student but I would never raise my child to be so hurtful.

    • Guest

      Just want to point out that those 4 members are on USAC. J-Board wasn’t involved in this at all.

      • Paul G

        Thank You, so much I corrected my error.

  • Dave

    Glad that this council took action in the only way they could– by making a public statement.

    Like I wrote in a post from an earlier article, if an employer asks these questions, he or she risks being fired because the company might be in jeopardy of being sued for racial discrimination. It seems that a company might ask a staff member to resign over such matters.

    UCLA administrators, or to whomever the council reports, has the obligation to ask her to resign or fire her from her post. If not, then Ms. Roth should be removed from her position for asking what she did. It’s hard to make that kind of decision and nobody wants to do it, but I feel that is an appropriate action to take. That is the work of those who oversee this committee. Lest they feel any pressure of lawsuit for racial discrimination or future accusations of such.

    I can’t judge the conversation that ensued, as everyone is entitled to like or dislike who they please, and to express their opinions openly. Like my instructor at UCLA, Joseph Mandel, who served as Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs, told us in a first amendment class, people’s ability to spew poison or hatred is part of the way that everyone’s right to Free Speech is protected. That has stuck with me for 12 years and has helped me speak my own mind to promote peace and tolerance.

    But reprimanding the question-asker is the right thing to do because that was illegal in my eyes. I charge whoever oversees this committee to ask for Ms. Roth’s resignation immediately.

    Dave S. , Alum ’04

    • Adam OnWeb

      If it were just the question, I’d be willing to be compassionate and forgive the mistake. After all, no one can tell what someone’s motives are when they ask a question. But this situation runs much deeper than that.

      All the parties involved agreed that Rachel was an ideal candidate before the question was asked. After the question was asked, Rachel left and a 40 minute deliberation took place where 4 members of student government came to the conclusion that – although Rachel was an ideal candidate – her Jewish background made her unsuitable for the position. For no other reason than being Jewish, they felt Rachel could not be unbiased and honest.

      But then the worst thing happened – they actually acted on it. Despite the fact that they all admitted Rachel was an ideal candidate, they all voted her down. At this point, these 4 did much worse than merely misjudge Rachel – they actually carried out something that would have deprived Rachel of a position she deserved. This goes way beyond the asking of a question. Now we are talking damage.

      Hadn’t a faculty member stepped in to stop what was going on, these 4 would have done damage to Rachel’s academic career. They would have denied her an opportunity to elevate herself and perform in a position of prestige and responsibility. The experience and the additional credit to her resume would have elevated her professional status and made her more attractive to future employers.

      We all have biases, but when we are in a position of authority, we have a moral, legal and ethical obligation to rise above our biases and pass judgements based on facts. If we’re unable to do that, we are obligated to at least admit it and recuse ourselves from the vote. These 4 were unable to set aside their biases, they knew it – because they already admitted that Rachel was an ideal candidate. They didn’t recuse themselves and proceeded to make a decisions that unjustly affected someone else. That behavior is immoral, unethical and illegal.

      To add insult to injury, 2 of the members (Haq and Roth) still fail to take responsibility for how they behaved. In their apology, they claim that they simply didn’t “phrase” things properly. That’s totally untrue. They initially admitted Rachel was ideal, then they discussed the idea that she couldn’t be unbiased and honest because of her religious affiliations. They reached a conclusion that she was unsuitable because she was Jewish and they acted on it – they denied her the position. That’s what happened.

      At this point, I can’t see how Haq and Roth can not resign. They clearly can’t be trusted to honestly acknowledge their own biases, and they clearly won’t recuse themselves from situations where they know their judgement might be in question. Left on the board, they will undoubtedly abuse their position again.

      They need to resign and the school administrators need to acknowledge that this needs to be handled beyond calling it a “teaching moment”. Things need to change immediately.

      • Dave

        Sounds good. I am Jewish. I wouldn’t want them casting votes about my future. I live in Washington and am unable to act besides withdrawing donations to the University.

        Sounds like there are many students at UCLA who are upset. They are doing a good job of writing. Let’s see them act, protest, and demand in a physical way what they are claiming to want.

  • Adam OnWeb

    Yes, but it’s way beyond that.

    Israel is involved in a legitimate conflict related to it’s security and existence.

    There has never been a country at war that can’t be accused of human rights issues.

    But Saudi Arabia, Iran, and many other countries in the region discriminate and violate human rights without having to balance against any security or existential threats.

    Even with Israel’s need to balance security against human rights, they still maintain a democracy and a superior human rights record compared to every country in the region.

    To focus on Israel’s actions in the process of defending itself while ignoring far worse human rights abuses in countries that aren’t involved in any conflicts at all is really outrageous.

  • Adam OnWeb

    This is truly classic…

    The Article above states: “The resolution… …condemns recent
    incidents of anti-Semitism and events SOME SAY were discriminatory,
    including vandalism at UC Davis where swastikas were painted on the door
    of a Jewish fraternity…”

    SOME SAY that painting swastikas on the door of a Jewish fraternity is antisemitic???

    Boy, they’re certainly going out on a limb here!

    What’s next? A resolution to condemn ISIS beheadings because some say it’s impolite?

  • S L

    I am posting here a comment I have made elsewhere in the interest of ensuring that the record is correct. The comments here keep referring to four council members who were at fault. The record should reflect that five students on the council made ugly remarks.

    At a meeting after the infamous Feb 10th meeting, three representatives of Hillel asked for apologies from the four council members and *also* from council member Conrad Contreras, the VP, on behalf of his proxy, Morris Sarafian. Mr. Sarafian used the loaded term “divided loyalties” and went on about conflicts of interest. The Hillel reps were correct to call him out. Morris Sarafian, then (acting as proxy for Contreras), is a 5th person at fault at the meeting. He has not joined in the apologies.

    A transcript of some of Mr. Sarafian’s words can be found here:

    http://saltdragon.tumblr.com/post/111624209959/on-the-evaluation-of-rachel-beyda-candidate-for

    (Is it important that there were 5 and not 4? Not sure. Maybe I am posting because I think that the individual–Mr. Sarafian–who bandied about terms such as “divided loyalties” should also have apologized, as was requested by the reps from Hillel.)

  • TheIGofSA

    Still not resignation….still bigots in office

  • vildechaye

    except that the resolution isn’t about “criticizing the policies” of Israel but about delegitimizing and demonizing it. This bit about “criticize Israel’s policies and you’re called anti-semitic” is a bullsh*t canard.