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UC San Diego temporarily closes campus TV station after racial slur

February 23, 2010 |  6:45 pm

UC San Diego’s student government has temporarily shut down a campus television channel and suspended funding for 16 or so media outlets because of a student show that used a racial epithet for African Americans.

The actions, criticized by free speech advocates, came as UC San Diego was reeling from news that some students had organized an off-campus party Feb. 15 that mocked Black History Month and invited participants to dress as ghetto stereotypes.

Then, on a television segment last week, members of a controversial student satire group used the racial slur and described blacks as "ungrateful" in a discussion of the party and the campus response to it.

Associated Students President Utsav Gupta suspended the campus station and said he needed to temporarily stop funding the other media outlets while new rules are written to ensure that student fees do not support hate speech. He said he expects the matter to be resolved in a week or two and insisted that he was not advocating censorship.

The main UCSD student newspaper, The Guardian, which is not affected by the funding suspension, blasted Gupta’s actions, describing it as dictatorial and against free speech on the campus.

-- Larry Gordon

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