by Jori Barash
“We recognize that racial issues exist across the campus…” Said UCLA Law Dean Rachel Moran in February after a black student found a rather uncouth request in the mailbox. In the same month, the Asian Pacific Islander community expressed outrage at the sequel to a 2012 racist flyer. A few months earlier, UCLA public safety officers racially profiled and beat a black judge.
Throughout years of such incidents, UCLA has tried everything from issuing statements to issuing other statements without the word ‘allegedly’. One of the statements even included setting up a scholarship, promptly addressed after only a couple of months and a court case.
Unfortunately, nothing was working. So this week, UCLA’s president and provost took the ceremonial shovels from the school’s groundbreaking and struck a 90-year old water pipe. Unlike some students first thought, the water wasn’t intended for a private university beach.An earlier statement signed by 54 administrators explained, “UCLA is dedicated to its principles of respect, tolerance, and action. We wanted to show our students and the larger Los Angeles community that this university will go to any length to build accountability. So, we’re going to wash the slate clean.”
In a show of solidarity, the president led two students of every race onto a boat, helmed by the bruin statue, but the procession was interrupted when university officers began to beat the black students.
At press time, another reporter asked UCLA administration what they planned to do with regard to the current water crisis. “Maybe build a fountain.”
Image courtesy of NBC Bay Area