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UCLA took aggressive response to video attacking Asian students

March 27, 2011 | 10:07 am

When a student posted a video on YouTube that complained about and mocked Asian students, UCLA fought back in an aggressive way.

Chancellor Gene Block sat down in the broadcast studio that the university recently constructed and made a statement condemning the student's video. Block's response was then posted on YouTube, the same place the controversy began.

By the time the chancellor's statement was posted, it was just one in a slew of videos on the subject. Some were light-hearted, others angry; some were politically correct, others as crude as the first. Phil Hampton, a UCLA spokesman, said it was crucial for UCLA's administration to inject its voice directly into the conversation.

The incident this month — and the way the university responded — illustrates the challenge that universities face now that the kinds of comments once scrawled on bathroom walls or passed around in class can be blasted online, instantly, for the world to see.

Larry D. Roper, vice provost for student affairs at Oregon State University, said the long reach of social media has turned issues that university officials would once have handled face to face into something broader and more difficult to manage. "It's not something we can control," Roper said. "It's a world unto itself."

Read the full story here.

--Rick Rojas