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Choices and Their Impact on Our Community

In message to campus, Chancellor Block urges everyone to fully consider how their actions will be interpreted by others in UCLA’s diverse community.

Last week, in a letter to all students, I noted that UCLA is not immune to bias. We all must treat one another with compassion and understanding, being sensitive to the hopes and fears of others and remembering how we can hurt each other at our worst but heal each other at our best.

This week, a fraternity and a sorority jointly threw a “Kanye West”-themed party that included some people dressing up as exaggerated racial stereotypes. This left many African-American students feeling mocked and disrespected. Even if that was not the intent of the partygoers, it should not have been hard to foresee that this would be the reaction. This was poor judgment and I, too, was offended. Everyone at UCLA is smart enough to think more carefully about the impact of their actions.

Yesterday, the newest member of my top administration, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang, eloquently and passionately represented the university at a rally about this incident. He will continue to speak on these matters and he has my full support as he leads our efforts to ensure UCLA is a welcoming and respectful environment for all.

I urge you to listen to his powerful remarks from the rally as well as his appearance on KCRW-FM last night.

A community is defined by the care and the choices made by all who are in it. As you go through the year, I urge you to think carefully about the choices you make and how they will impact the community we all live in — the community we build together.

Sincerely,

Gene D. Block
Chancellor

 

Oct. 9, 2015

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