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State Legislators Want Answers From UCSD Officials

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Aired 3/19/10

A group of state legislators will visit UC San Diego on Saturday to hear how administrators are addressing issues of cultural diversity and intolerance on campus. It's part of a community forum called "Addressing Intolerance in Higher Education."

— A group of state legislators will visit UC San Diego on Saturday to hear how administrators are addressing issues of cultural diversity and intolerance on campus. It's part of a community forum called "Addressing Intolerance in Higher Education."

The forum comes one month after UCSD was rocked by a series of racially offensive incidents. It all began with the 'Compton Cookout' party, an event organized by some UCSD students that mocked black culture.

State Assemblyman Isadore Hall represents the City of Compton. He blasted campus officials for allowing such incidents to take place.

Local assembly members Lori Saldaña, Nathan Fletcher and Marty Block will be on hand to hear what steps administrators are taking at the weekend forum. Hall is the main organizer of the event.

“If there were African-Americans on campus doing hate crimes against Caucasians, I'd have a problem with that, too,” Hall said. “I would be out there waving a flag the same way.”

UCSD officials and black student leaders struck an agreement earlier this month to increase diversity on campus. Measures include long-term, sustained efforts to recruit and retain students of color.

Hall says he is “encouraged” with the way campus administrators are addressing student concerns so far. He’s also pleased with how the University of California has responded to his demands.

UC President Mark Yudof has appointed Christopher Edley to assess and monitor the situation at UCSD. Edley is the dean of UC Berkeley's School of Law and is an authority on civil rights issues.

Hall says he's hopeful things will turnaround.

“I understand clearly this is not reflective of the entire population of UCSD,” Hall said. “I understand that it’s just a small group of individuals, however, it’s something that if it is not handled could grow exponentially.”

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