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Letter to the Editor: SJP should have brought concerns to GSA instead of acquiring lawyers

By Daily Bruin Staff

Nov. 23, 2015 12:00 a.m.

The Graduate Student Association does not have a dedicated funding body for events. When the Diversity Caucus requested GSA funding for their town hall with Vice Chancellor Jerry Kang, GSA’s cabinet made an exception and provided ad-hoc funding from surplus funds.

Out of respect to all Bruins, GSA sought to avoid the potentially divisive and controversial topic of Israel-Palestine politics. This sentiment was expressed to the Diversity Caucus, who accepted GSA’s terms and funding.

The Students for Justice in Palestine never engaged in any dialogue with GSA regarding their concerns with the town hall’s funding. If they did, GSA would have been more than willing to engage in an open and productive discussion with them. Instead, SJP chose to engage with Palestine Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights to issue a demand letter to the chancellor, after the town hall had already occurred.

Of course, as publicly acknowledged by SJP’s attorney, GSA had no intention to marginalize SJP.

GSA strives to provide an inclusive platform for all interests. In the past, GSA has engaged with SJP in addressing their concerns on other issues. As with all student organizations, GSA hopes to engage with SJP to promote a relationship of open dialogue and diversity.

UCLA Graduate Student Association Cabinet

Milan Chatterjee

President of GSA

Joel Lanzaga

Vice President of Academic Affairs

Andres Schneider

Vice President of External Affairs

Chiao-Wen Lan

Vice President of Internal Affairs

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