Noose Found at UCSD Library – Student Admits Doing It – In response students take over Chancellor’s office

by on February 26, 2010 · 20 comments

in Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, Culture, Education, Organizing, San Diego


UCSD Students Take Over Chancellor’s Office

According to Union-Tribune:

SAN DIEGO — Student protesters have taken over the offices of University of California San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox as a third racially charged episode has brought a new wave of outrage.

Students are protesting atop desks and countertops throughout Fox’s suite, except for her own sanctum. They are chanting, “Real pain, real change.” Some are playing drums.

ucsd takeover

Nelvin C. Cepeda / Union-Tribune- Jennifer Maldonado (right) played music as UCSD students occupied the chancellor’s office yesterday in response to the hanging of a noose in the campus library.

Fox has twice addressed students today, once outside the library where a noose was found last night and once in a eucalyptus grove outside her office. Students remain upset with the pace of the administration’s response to their demand for action over ongoing racial strife.

“You can’t imagine how pained we are, we are heartsick,” Vice Chancellor Penny Rue told the students on a bullhorn.

Earlier Update: UCSD campus police and president of the regents have reported that the woman student said she had two accomplices.

Some professors have called off their classes for the day and have called for a strike and “disruptive demonstrations” at the campus in protest of the now three racial incidents.

Old UPDATE: The discovery was posted on the UC Regents Live(blog) and was soon the late-night talk of the campus.

Students, wearing black, gathered Friday morning for a silent protest outside the Chancellors office, 10News reported. The number of protesters grew to thousands by about 10 a.m.

By Karen Kucher / Union-Tribune / February 26, 2010

Campus police at the University of California San Diego are questioning a student who admitted she hung a noose on the seventh floor of the university library Thursday night.

The incident is the third racially charged episode on the campus in two weeks, and has spurred a new round of rallies.

“This is truly a dark day in the history of this university,” Chancellor Marye Anne Fox told students gathered along Library Walk. “It’s abhorrent and untenable.”


Photo of noose found on 7th floor of UCSD library.

The noose was found hanging from a bookcase of the Geisel Library at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, and the student called at 9 a.m. Friday to confess, according to vice chancellor Gary Mattews.

“It’s someone who didn’t think that leaving a noose was an issue,” he said.

For the remainder of this article, go here.

Note: Here’s something that just came to my attention:

Earlier this month a group of UC Santa Barbara students hosted a “Gangsta Party.” Hosts distributed fliers depicting a monkey dressed in baggy jeans and a do-rag and explained that women at the party would be dubbed with “ghetto” names.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Montana February 26, 2010 at 10:55 am

Instead of an apology there has been steady escalation and now the noose. So, what exactly will the excuses be for this cowardly act that brings up memories of the confederate KKK of the South in their attempts to keep slavery and the non-whites in fear? Is it that are uneducated, is it that their parents planted these seeds of hate, is it that they are live in fear because our President in the white house is not 100% white. This is what the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. These kids follow what their dullard leaders say, they are young and dumb. Are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think? Of course it could be an off-campus dullard who listens to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards.


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 11:04 am

Found a pic of actual noose.


doug porter February 26, 2010 at 11:30 am

and if you want to see just how bad San Diego is in terms of racism, look at the comments on the UT article!


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 11:40 am

And did you see how the U-T finally discovered Jiggabo Jones?


Goatskull February 27, 2010 at 9:04 am

Never take the UT message boards too serious. #1, it’s the UT and the majority of the posters on there are just trolls out to get a reaction. There are trolls liberal AND conservative who just have nothing better to do then incite anger for their own amusement.


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Here is something I just found out about:

Earlier this month a group of UCSB students hosted a “Gangsta Party.” Hosts distributed fliers depicting a monkey dressed in baggy jeans and a do-rag and explained that women at the party would be dubbed with “ghetto” names.


OB Cindi February 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Ignorance can only be toppled by patience, tolerance and education. Look at Ghandi and MLK–two people who challenged the backwards thinking of the majority and were the “lightning rods” for changes that positively influenced future generations. I hope those who know better then to think racially insensitive words and actions are “funny” will educate the less sensitive members and visitors of UCSD.

Chancellor Fox–The students are tired of hearing words. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THEN WORDS. Let student leadership form a committee to decide what should be done with those who have held racially insensitive parties and for those who put the noose up. That way, you allow democracy to decide the fate of these folks. And let those who are furious about this outbreak of racial insensitivity to demonstrate–give them a time and place and campus police protection. Because you are doing NOTHING unless you allow the voices to be seen and heard. Covering it up and hoping it all goes away will only cause this issue to blow up in your face.


doug porter February 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm

UPDATE: Multiple Twitter updates are reporting a second noose found on UCSD campus.


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm

More twitter updates say no second noose found, according to campus police.


Frank Gormlie February 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm

5:35 Friday: We have heard vis twitter that UCSD students have left the Chancellor’s office with the news that the student who was responsible for the noose found in the library being suspended. The students do not sound happy with this result nor with the administration’s attitude. They had been occupying the administration office for a few hours.


Confused February 26, 2010 at 8:03 pm

“Students from across Northern California will file suit against the University of California Tuesday in a federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn Proposition 209 and re-establish affirmative action programs at the university. ”

Granted the noose and other things are lame and insulting. However, unless I am too far out of the loop, nobody was harmed. Where is the outrage over the students filing the lawsuit to overturn prop. 209 which would institute racism at the UC system? That is far, far worse than a noose, or a theme party. Racism in admissions causes real harm. To have students work their butts off trying to get into a good school only to be denied because of the color of their skin is unconscionable. I have a senior and see how hard these kids work. My life has been a living hell dealing with an over tired teenager. My daughter pulls all nighters almost every night of the week getting to bed at 5 on a good night waking up cussing and snarling at me due to her exhaustion.


Frank Gormlie February 27, 2010 at 9:17 am

Apparently, Confused, you are out of the loop. All kinds of people were harmed with the noose and the radio station racist BS, and the Compton cook-out. Sounds like you are swamped due to your senior. But don’t let being close to the trees prevent you from seeing the forest.
What about all the hard-working students of color who can’t even hope to get into prestigious schools like UCSD. Black students make up 1.2% of their population. Apparently, ratios would help white students too.


Confused February 27, 2010 at 10:27 am


I guess I will have to do some reseach on how people were harmed. In general, I really don’t have a problem with biting satire. In my mind it offers lessons on how I can improve myself. I am white but would not have a problem with a white trash theme party because it would serve as a reminder of what to avoid in my personal appearance and how I present myself to the world. Lord knows I could do better and strive to always improve myself.


Confused February 27, 2010 at 10:32 am

I guess a better example may be shows like, “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” Here you have a show that has a title that would imply it is portraying typical Southern California families. I find no offence in that they put forward the tackiest people they can find. It offers a lesson in what one does not want to become. Not that I have really watched the show.


Frank Gormlie February 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm

A little detail keeps needing to be remembered: whites ran a system of racially based slavery for 400 years against African-Americans. Not certain what you are calling satire, perhaps the “Compton Cookout”, but you’re not calling the racist Koala student TV show nor the noose found Thursday night are you?


Confused February 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm


And how long did blacks run a system of slavery? I don’t get your point. That was ended by a costly war 150 years ago. Bringing things like that up when none of us participated in the slave trade probably is what encourages people to hang a noose. Just to clarify, I don’t condone it. Reconstruction was not exactly a golden era in American history and I am not going to live my life reliving abuses that I did not suffer.

There are far more important things we should concern ourselves with. The drop out rates are 70% in some school districts. Should not that be getting a greater share of discussion as we enter an election year?


Frank Gormlie February 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm

The Civil War may have ended 150 years ago, but the Jim Crow system ended just a few years ago formally. One of our bloggers, an African-American, could not be served at Tucson restaurants in his youth. And obviously, even though the American people elected a Black man as president, we’re really not in a post-racial world yet (the racist Koala TV show, the noose).

It’s true that if you go back far enough in human history, you find that all racial groups had systems of slavery. African and Egyptian regimes had european, middle-eastern slaves, as well as other African and Egyptians. Middle-eastern kingdoms had African and European slaves. Europen-based powers had slaves of every racial group.

But not until the New World, in the English colonies of America, was there a specifically racial-based system of slavery, where all Africans were slaves, and no other ethnic groups were. This was the unique and tragic and genocidal nature of our heritage.

I’ve studied this history. Beginning in the mid and late 1600s, the colonial governments began enacting laws forbidding whites and Africans from wedding, from cohabiting, from gradually every form of shared human behavior – setting up law by law a new system – and dividing the whites from the blacks. The colonial governments were very fearful that the Black slaves and the white indentured servants would form coalitions and rebel together against the mostly autocratic governors. Once in awhile, these coalitions did form and did rebel and seriously threatened the landed propertied elites and their representatives.

So, we don’t come to this day on the same racial playing field. Things are changing in this country, but there are set-backs as well. We’re in one of those pockets now.


nunya February 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Thanks for the pic, Frank. Seeing it made my skin crawl.


Abby March 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

Is this a west coast thing? Where I grew up on the east coast displaying a noose on your clothes, car or in your locker was just a normal think for kids who were in to goth/punk/metal, etc. There was nothing racial about it.

That said, I think this community really needs to pull together right now before this gets violent. All races need to take a stand together. We can not allow this to divide us further.

I think some kind of non violet love in is needed. Something to remind us not of what makes us different, but of the things that make us the same.


Jessica Williams-Holt March 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm

As a UCSD student, its been interesting watching this whole thing unfold. With a critical eye I believe most people would view each of the four incidents differently. On the original, the Compton cookout, however, I think the calls of racism were probably over blown. I think poking fun at stereotypes of all sorts is healthy and probably the best way to realize how silly they really are. The truth is the “Compton Cookout” and Jiggabo Jones are not new; neither are “Gangster” parties, or even for that matter “White Trash” parties. As a woman, I found the text of the invite sexist. As someone sensitive to race relations however, it was really pretty ordinary.

All that being said, the ensuing events shed light on a previously muffled tension that deserves attention.

As to over turning Prop 209, I think its a bad idea. Not because it would be bad for the UC system, but because of the stigma placed on those who might take advantage of such policies. I better course of action, I believe, would be policies aimed at increasing applicants from under represented groups.

Finally, one thing that bothers me about the attempts to over turn Prop 209, at least with respect to UCSD, are the calls for more “people of color.” Asians make up more than 40% of the UCSD student body, and certainly in the popular nomenclature, Asians are people of color.

One more thing…specifically at “Confused”: taking race into admissions considerations does not equal racism. More to the point: the UC system was originally designed to provide a low cost option for all California high school students and not intended merely for the “cream of the crop” and in that regard, the drop off in diversity experienced after Prop 209 was over turned should be of concern. Public universities should not be ruled by the same meritocracy rules privately funded schools.


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