UCSD teach-in today aims improving attitudes toward race

A “teach-in” is scheduled at UC San Diego today to condemn a recent off-campus party that university officials said mocked Black History Month and perpetuated racist stereotypes.

The office of UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox said in a statement that the event is intended to “explore how such incidents continue to occur today and to discuss the importance of mutual respect and civility on our campus.’”

Racial concerns on campus stemmed from a President’s Day party that allegedly mocked Black History Month. Called the “Compton Cookout,” attendees were urged to dress and act in a manner that school officials say perpetuated racist stereotypes.

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.

In a press release issued late Tuesday, Fox said, “I want to commend our students for their show of unity today,” referring to the School of Medicine Student-Run Diversity Coalition Peaceful Rally that occurred on campus at noon. “In addition, we are committed to working together with Black community leaders to discuss and address the issues on our campus so that we can heal and rebuild.”

The release added that the campus “is committing all of its resources — legal, moral, ethical, communal and educational — to make positive, necessary changes on its campus.

It also said that on Tuesday campus officials “met with African-American leadership including San Diego City Council member Tony Young, representatives from the Urban League and the NAACP, as well as other community leaders who have agreed to present a community forum on issues of hate and bias — issues that affect individuals throughout the San Diego community.

“At UC San Diego, we take seriously the issues raised by our students and our university community, and our paramount concern is to ensure the emotional and physical safety of our campus family,” Fox noted.

The university also launcheda “Battle Hate” website at

that details the actions underway.

In related developments Utsav Gupta, president of the UCSD Associated Students, described the KoalaTV program as “deeply offensive and hurtful” and cut funding to all fee-supported student-run media organizations pending a review. Associated Students also revoked the charter for the student-run television station.

According to Associated Students, KoalaTV is put on by the publishers of a student newspaper called The Koala.

UCSD administrators have condemned the racially themed party and said in a statement they are investigating the incidents for violations of the student code of conduct.