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UCLA to take no action against student for controversial video

Amid a debate about free speech in the Internet era, UCLA announced Friday that it would not proceed with any investigation or disciplinary action against the student who produced a controversial online video in which she complained about Asian students' behavior and crudely mimicked Asian languages.

"While we were appalled and offended by the sentiments expressed in the video, we have uncovered no facts to lead us to believe the student code of conduct was violated. The campus has no intention of pursuing the matter further," UCLA spokesman Phil Hampton said in a telephone interview Friday.

The campus code prohibits students from making specific threats against anyone and forbids racial or sexual harassment that is severe or pervasive enough that it impairs another person's participation in university life. The video by Alexandra Wallace, a third-year political science major, did not meet those standards, he said.

First Amendment activists said they were pleased with UCLA's decision and said that other colleges should act similarly, as other students elsewhere are certain at times to post silly and offensive things on YouTube and Facebook. However, some said UCLA should not have announced earlier in the week that it was looking into possible discipline, and that UCLA Chancellor Gene Block should not have issued a statement denouncing the video.

Wallace, who could not be reached for comment Friday, has apologized for the video in a statement to  UCLA's Daily Bruin student newspaper. In the video, posted after the devastating Japanese earthquake, Wallace complained about Asian students using their cellphones in the library as they sought information about the earthquake and relatives in the quake zone.

She has reportedly received death threats and been ridiculed in counter-videos and online comments. Hampton said university police are looking into those threats and that the campus had given her a secure way to take her final exams this week, but he declined to say what those security measures entailed.


U.S. investigates UC Santa Cruz for alleged hostility to Jewish students

UC and Cal State pull all students out of programs in Japan

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-- Larry Gordon

Photo: UCLA's Royce Hall. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (62)

what she says might be true....i dont agree with HOW she got her point across because.........good luck finding a job later on in life....

This is the right call - she is a moron and this will chase her for probably a decade..... but I did a lot of stupid stuff when I would young.

Her parents must be SO proud. Well, if she's going to get away with this now, hopefully her behavior will follow her around when she tries to get a job.

She was brave enough to make racists comments but she needs security to continue final exams. Typical right winger who hides behind a keyboard all day spewing hate and then runs for the police when they get exposed.

How is posting a video as offensive as that not considered a violation of any student behaviour code? Posting a video as offensive as that for the whole nation to see is a "direct" racial harrassment to everyone who sees the video. It is a personal, and a public, I am certain, disappointment towards UCLA for not disciplining their very own students, and if they do not take any actions against this situation, it will only encourage other students of similar nature to follow her trails. UCLA, as a respectable school, must prevent this from happening by responding to this messy situation with discernment.

This is a good school. I yearn for the school.

C'mon LA Times...tes, she was ridiculed BUT also received a lot of support - but of course, why bother mentioning that?

Freedom of speech has prevailed! I saw the video and she did not make comments specifically about Japanese earthquake victims. She said that many Asian students talk on the phone at the library and that they should adapt to American customs where it is common to not talk loudly , especially on the phone. She said that maybe if it concerned the earthquake in japan it would be more reason to take the conversation outside. I feel that the media has tried to villainize her and make her appear racist. Everyone has their opinions, customs, and standards- she just made hers known. Never in the video did she use racial slurs or incite retaliation against Asian students. She was just venting her frustrations . It is our right as Americans to do so.

i would worry about myself finding a better job. don't worry she'll do fine.

Listen to all of you on your clouds of judgement! She didn't say anything that is not true and I know when you saw the video you laughed! She is not racist, everybody and I mean everybody has some prejudice in them.

Does UCLA have any policy regarding students using cell phones in the library?

It seems pretty rude to me

As a person of Chinese origin, I think UCLA's decision a right one. It's the same constitution that protects Ms. Wallace's moronic remarks guarantees protections to minorities like me, at least in theory. Let Ms. Wallace be judged by the court of people's opinion.

this young woman didn't have her thinking cap on.. good for ucla and free speech...

Fortunately, for all of us, even poor taste is protected by the first amendment!!!

"Never in the video did she use racial slurs or incite retaliation against Asian students." Are you serious? What part of "ching chong ting tong" is not considered racist? Based on other articles, she was trying to make a name for herself. I think she was aiming to be controversial, but didn't expect such a negative response. So yes, she made a mistake, but not for what others are saying. Her mistake was thinking she'd find a larger majority of people to laugh with her and agree with her rather than finding her video obscene, offensive, and racist.

To be honest, I didn't expect anything to happen. I guess I'm content with her living with this shame and history. I hope any job she applies for tries googling her name during the background check process.

She doesn't seem like the kind of person who will be pursuing any sort of career other than trophy wife. I'm sure she'll be able to find some wealthy developer husband in Scottsdale, Arizona.

the uproar was so lame over her calling asians rude that i have to believe this is like the balloon boy deal and she set this whole media storm up to get a reality show. people need to sack it up a bit

The action UCLA can take is to stop admitting bimbos like this into their school. UCLA is a fine institution but boy do they let some idiot kids in there. This kind of thing chips away at a school's reputation.

@ lia - you must of watched a different video and if you didn't find any of it offensive then you must somehow come from the same mindset as Wallace does. To mock Asians and the way she thinks they talk is racist. Most people won't understand this but her saying ching chong ling long, etc is just like using the N word to many Asians. And for her to suggest that just because they are Asian, they must be from another country is ridiculous. While many people hide under the guise of the First Amendment, the words you choose will ultimately have an affect on your life as will hers. Once employers know she is the one who made this video, they may think twice before hiring her as she may be a liability for future lawsuits against the company should she once again choose to use her First Amendment views on Asians or any minority group.

She's ruined her shot at graduate studies, I would imagine. And any potential employer who makes even a cursory attempt to Google her name before hiring her will learn about this video. This will haunt her for a long time to come and so is probably punishment enough.

And on another note, people who are upset with Wallace are not saying that it is perfectly acceptable to use your cell phone in the library. It isn't, it's rude, and if me telling them multiple times don't fix it, I'd take it up with the people who work there. Posting a condescending and mocking video doesn't exactly help you carry your point across.

Glad some people are still sane. I was afraid she'd be shipped off to re-education camp.

she is, what, 21, going on 10? why is she attacking asians? crude behavior? and she thinks her behavior reflects kindly of white people? has she been watching the news? white people murder their families/children, start ponzi schemes to cheat people out of their money. right now some white people want to do away with child labor laws and force children to work. why, even sme of these white people want the irs to audit a womans uterus, and joined a racists political movement known as teabaggers.
so before this nitwit starts attacking another group of people for behavinging badly, she needs to chek out what her own are doing. it's not pretty.

i think her BIGGEST offense was imitating a japanese student with chinese sounding gibberish!!!

This is insane, the student should have been kicked out of school. UCLA is to good for someone like her (Trash). If this had been any other race the police would have been involved. Her Video was not funny!! I am not Asian and consider her behavior cruel!!! Obviously this girl thinks she is superior above all race groups with her stupid self and UCLA is saying its no big deal!!! I cannot believe UCLA's response to do nothing. This only allows for more criticisim towards other races.

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