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Governor condemns racial incidents on UC campuses

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ono Saturday condemned recent “intolerable acts of racism and incivility” at University of California campuses, including San Diego and Irvine, days before statewide rallies are to

be held to protest tuition increases.

“I am deeply troubled by the horrific incidents that recently took place on various campuses of the University of California system,” he said in a statement.

“The acts of racism and intolerance that we have witnessed are completely unacceptable and I join with the University of California president, chancellors and student leaders in condemning these terrible incidents,” he said. “There is no excuse for this kind of behavior in our system of higher education or anywhere else and it will not be tolerated.”

Students at UCSD took over the chancellor’s office Friday to protest the discovery of a noose hanging in the library.

The noose was discovered less than two weeks after an off-campus party during Black History Month called “Compton Cookout” that was supposed to serve chicken, watermelon and malt liquor and urged attendees to dress “ghetto.”

The situation was inflamed several days later when racially insensitive language was reportedly used on a student-run television program called KoalaTV during a discussion about the party.

Blacks, who make up less than 2 percent of the students, said they didn’t feel safe on the campus and submitted a list of more than 30 demands to the administration.

A coed who admitted putting the knotted rope in the library was suspended, and the incident was being investigated as a possible hate crime and an act committed “with intent to terrorize,” said campus spokesman Rex Graham.

School officials also were looking into whether the off-campus party broke campus rules. A fraternity that was said to have sponsored the party has denied any involvement.

Last week, a Jewish student at UC Davis found a swastika carved into her dorm room door, and days earlier 11 UC Irvine students were arrested for interrupting a talk by Israel’s ambassador Michael Oren at the Irvine campus.

Some Jewish groups have said Irvine’s chancellor has not done enough to counter alleged anti-Semitic actions on the campus and have called for a boycott of the school.

Meantime, more than 200 UC Berkeley students spilled out of a dance party on campus and trashed university buildings and smashed windows along Telegraph Avenue Thursday night into Friday morning.

Authorities were concerned the mini-riot at Berkeley and the racial

incidents on the other campuses could fuel violence next Thursday, when demonstrations against education budget cuts are scheduled to take place at campuses throughout the state.