Friday, February 28

Chancellor Block criticizes campus climate-related incidents

This article was updated at 1:25 a.m. on Feb 25.

Chancellor Gene Block sent a campuswide email Tuesday criticizing the recent posting of offensive fliers about Students for Justice in Palestine and the questioning of a student’s qualifications based on her Jewish identity.

Block expressed concern in the statement about posters found Sunday around UCLA and Westwood portraying members of Students for Justice in Palestine as armed militants. He also said he was troubled by the questioning two weeks ago of Rachel Beyda, an applicant for the Undergraduate Students Association Council Judicial Board, based on her affiliation with on-campus Jewish organizations. Beyda declined to comment for this article, citing her position on the Judicial Board, which aims to be impartial.

“No student should feel threatened that they would be unable to participate in a university activity because of their religion,” Block said in the statement. “And no student should be compared to a terrorist for holding a political opinion. These disturbing episodes are very different, but they both are rooted in stereotypes and assumptions.”

In the statement, Block also praised the response to the incidents, such as the unanimous appointment of Beyda, a second-year economics student, and the following apologies from councilmembers who questioned her. He said he was also pleased that the offensive posters were taken down promptly and that university police are investigating the incident.

The university will always take appropriate action if laws or university’s Principles of Community is violated, Block said.

Students for Justice in Palestine members said in a statement Tuesday they are relieved to see Block released the statement, and they hope he will meet with them in the future to discuss further actions he can take.

Compiled by Jeong Park, Bruin senior staff.

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  • Jane Moriarty

    Congratulations UCLA, you’ve really set yourselves apart as a world leader in antisemitism.

  • Are you kidding?

    An outside group (David Horowitz and his David Horowitz Freedom Center) just claimed responsibility for the posters.

    • robman012
    • roccolore

      It’s about time someone called out the fascist SJP.

    • Bonnetierre

      Chancellor Block is wrong in his criticizing of the SJP posters, however I do understand why he would do so.

      SJP has been repeatedly tied to terrorist organizations in the Middle East. While I don’t condone the defacement of university property, the climate was conducive to such action. You can only let an organization like SJP get away with so much hate and bigotry, until people get fed up with it

      The real question is, how come Chancellor Block allows an SJP, an organization tied to terrorism, to operate on his campus? Type in “SJP terrorism” in Google, and read how this group materially supports suicide bombers.

      Political correctness run amok!

  • ThisIsPalestine

    SJP honors terrorists. So calling them terrorists is appropriate.

    SJP tries to deprive Jews of human rights. So calling them Jew haters is appropriate.

    They should be banned from UCLA and all American universities. Everywhere they go, hatred and racial tension follow.

    • Bonnetierre

      They do alot more than just “honor” terrorists. SJP provides material support to real terrorists that murder people.

      See the recent news: “DePaul University’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter is coming under heavy criticism for its decision to hold a fundraiser for convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh.” –

      I agree, they should be banned immediately. They are a danger to the students and the faculty.

  • bob bear

    Chancellor Gene Block’s inaction a year ago in letting the students rail against travel trips by Israeli backed organizations has inflamed the situation, and let the prejudices of some young students expand out into the open once again!
    And again he does nothing hiding behind ‘free distasteful speech’! What the chancellor doesn’t get is discrimination is also against the law, and these students questions at the USAC board were against the law! The Chancellor doesn’t seem to understand that even free speech has legal limitations!
    So with his do nothing attitude, you can expect in the next year it will only get worse! Hopefully it will remain non-violent!