UC San Diego to open racial harassment investigation office
LA JOLLA (CNS) – UC San Diego officials agreed to open an office to
investigate alleged racial harassment of black students and take other anti-harassment steps as part of a settlement with federal authorities, the U.S.
Justice Department announced Friday.
The deal involving the university, Justice Department and Department of
Education ends a federal investigation into a series of complaints that started
with an off-campus party called the “Compton Cookout.” That February 2010
event led to several months of tension on campus, including the discovery of a
noose in UCSD's main library and a white hood found on a statue.
Blacks, who make up a small fraction of the student body, said they felt
uncomfortable on campus.
The announcement said UCSD entered into the resolution voluntarily.
Campus officials said they were preparing a statement that would be
released later. After the incidents occurred, they took several steps on their
own in an attempt to reduce racial problems.
Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division,
said students have a right to receive an education without being subjected to
“UCSD, like all colleges and universities, has an obligation to make
clear that racial discrimination and harassment on campus will not be
tolerated, and this agreement is a significant step in the right direction,”
Perez said. “We commend the university for working with us to address this
matter, and we recognize the importance of this agreement in the context of
larger efforts by the UC system to create supportive and inclusive learning
environments for students.”
The school agreed to review policies to make sure they conform to
federal civil rights codes, open an office to receive, investigate and resolve
harassment claims, and provide mandatory training to employees and students on
discrimination and harassment.