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Schwarzenegger condemns 'intolerable acts of racism' at UC San Diego, other campuses

March 1, 2010 |  7:19 am

A series of racial and religion controversies involving UC campuses -- including the "Compton Cookout" party and a noose found at UC San Diego -- has been met with concern by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“I am deeply troubled by the horrific incidents that recently took place on various campuses of the University of California system," the governor said in a statement. "The acts of racism and intolerance that we have witnessed are completely unacceptable and I join with the University of California President, Chancellors and student leaders in condemning these terrible incidents."

A UC San Diego student admitted Friday to hanging a rope noose from a campus library bookcase in an act that triggered more protests at a school already roiled by recent racially charged incidents.

Angry students stormed and occupied the office of UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox.

On Feb. 15, an off-campus party, described as a "Compton Cookout," mocked Black History Month, leading to large student protests. A few days later, a campus satirical group defended the party and used a derogatory term about blacks on a campus television show.

At UC Irvine, 11 students were arrested last month for disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador. A New York City-based Zionist group quickly urged college-bound students to drop UC Irvine as a consideration and asked donors to rethink their pledges. A leading Muslim civil rights group asked that charges be dropped against the protesters -- even though charges have not been filed.

In his statement, Schwarzenegger did not cite specific incidents but said he was "condemning the intolerable acts of racism and incivility that recently occurred on multiple campuses in the University of California higher education system."

"There is no excuse for this kind of behavior in our system of higher education or anywhere else and it will not be tolerated," he said.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: UC San Diego grad student Michael Navarro chants with his fellow students during a rally against racial intolerance after a noose was found dangling from a light fixture on the seventh floor of Geisel Library last month. Credit: Nelvin Cepeda / San Diego Union Tribune