University of California San Diego is working to implement changes demanded by students in the wake of a number of racially-charged incidents on the campus in recent weeks including the discovery of a noose at a campus library.
A noose was found hanging at the Geisel Library around 10 p.m. Thursday, according to campus police. Officers confirmed Friday that one person was in custody in connection with the act which is considered a crime -- hanging a noose with intent to terrorize.
The student contacted the UC San Diego police department and admitted to hanging the noose, according to a campus news release. Campus police said they had the student and taken a statement.
The student has been suspended while the investigation continues. The university has also consulted the San Diego District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney, according to a university release issued Monday.
“Anytime you hang a noose. That’s a message. That’s a death message. A noose is nothing but death. The students are very afraid and concerned about their safety here on campus,” UCSD staffer Dierdre Vernon said.
The noose was found hanging on the west side of aisle 3, which faces the windows, according to a UCSD campus police report. The aisle is located in the southwest corner of the seventh floor of the library.
What appeared to be hundreds of students took part in the protest which began at 8 a.m. Friday on the library walk. Hundreds of people sat silently in a large group wearing black and listening to fellow students who said that they are tired and hurt after nearly two weeks of racially-charged events.
Dozens of students began occupying the chancellor's office around noon as hundreds marched outside chanting slogans.
Chancellor Marye Ann Fox issued a video statement online Friday, "It is deplorable that while our students, faculty and staff work to heal the campus, a few misguided individuals tried to divide it," she said in the statement.
On Monday , the university outlined the actions it has taken to improve the school's climate and cultural diversity. They include creating a task force to focus on recruiting minority faculty, forming a commission to address the campus climate, continuing to fund Faculty-Student Mentor Programs, ensuring ongoing funding for the Chancellor's Diversity Office, identifying space for an African-American Resource Center on Campus and meeting with member of the Black Student Union at least once every academic quarter.
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The discovery of the noose follows several events that have resulted in marches, protests and an anti-racism campaign on campus. First, the notorious Compton Cookout -- held the weekend of Feb. 13-14, which invited participants to a ghetto themed party. Next, the N-word was used to describe critics of the Compton Cookout on student-run television, then the suspension of funding for 33 media groups funded by the Associated Students and just this week a teach-in held by the university disrupted by students demanding action by the chancellor on a list of demands which include increasing the number of African Americans in the university's faculty and student pools.
The university condemned the Compton Cookout and launched a Web site launched which outlines the "Battle Hate" campaign aiming to ensure that all students feel "safe, supported and respected."
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