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UCLA included in Title VI investigation over alleged ethnic discrimination

Students walking outside Kerckhoff Hall on Sycamore Alley are pictured. UCLA was added Monday to a broader Title VI inquiry, announced by the U.S. Department of Education, investigating universities and K-12 schools for discrimination based on “shared ancestry.” (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Matthew Royer

Dec. 14, 2023 4:23 p.m.

The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced an investigation Monday into antisemitic and Islamophobic activities on UCLA’s campus.

The investigation is part of a broader Title VI inquiry announced by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in November, investigating universities and K-12 schools for discrimination based on “shared ancestry,” which is harassment based on someone’s ancestry or ethnic characteristics.

The November announcement came in the wake of an Oct. 7 attack by militant group and Palestinian political party Hamas on villages in southern Israel that resulted in what Israel’s foreign ministry estimates to be 1,200 deaths, according to Reuters, with Hamas continuing attacks on the region since. In response, Israel launched a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip along with bombings and airstrikes, which the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said has collectively killed over 17,700 people, according to the Associated Press.

In a statement, a UCLA spokesperson said they are aware of the investigation and that the university will cooperate fully, adding that they encourage students to report harassment and discrimination to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s Civil Rights Office.

The Department of Education announced an investigation into other universities alongside UCLA, including UC San Diego, Stanford University, the University of Washington and Rutgers University. Nearby community college Santa Monica College was added Dec. 4 to the investigation.

Other notable schools under investigation from November are Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania.

“Hate has no place in our schools, period,” Cardona said in a November press release. “When students are targeted because they are – or are perceived to be – Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Sikh, or any other ethnicity or shared ancestry, schools must act to ensure safe and inclusive educational environments where everyone is free to learn.”

The investigation comes after students have expressed concern about alleged instances of antisemitism and Islamophobia on UCLA’s campus.

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Matthew Royer | Alumnus
Royer joined the Bruin and the News section as a first-year transfer student in 2022 and contributed until he graduated in 2024. He was the 2023-2024 national news and higher education editor and the 2022-2023 city and crime (metro) editor. He was also a Sports staff writer on the men’s soccer and softball beats and was Copy staff. He studied political science and minored in labor studies.
Royer joined the Bruin and the News section as a first-year transfer student in 2022 and contributed until he graduated in 2024. He was the 2023-2024 national news and higher education editor and the 2022-2023 city and crime (metro) editor. He was also a Sports staff writer on the men’s soccer and softball beats and was Copy staff. He studied political science and minored in labor studies.
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