A meeting was held Sunday at the Asian Resource Center to discuss a hate incident that occurred Oct. 10 in the San Nicolas residence hall and the circumstances that may have led to it.
At the Oct. 20 meeting, students also addressed the issue of racism toward all ethnic groups on campus. Asian Resource Center intern and meeting coordinator Marshall Higa said representatives from several campus organizations were in attendance – including members of the Hmong Student Union, Kapatirang Pilipino, the Black Student Union, El Congreso, the Kikkei Student Union and Zeta Phi Rho – as well as Associated Students President Chrystine Lawson. UCSB administrators were not invited to the meeting, Higa said.
“This stuff happens every year. It’s happened to Asian students in the past and it will happen in the future. It’s happened to other ethnic groups,” Higa said. “We haven’t seen a lot of visible action from administration and that has students feeling unsafe.”
The hate incident was reported after unidentified suspects took elevator number one to the fifth floor of San Nicolas on Oct. 10 at approximately 2:15 p.m. and threw hard-boiled egg yolks onto the floor of the Asian and Pacific Islander Cultural Studies special interest hall. The suspects then yelled “chink” either one or three times and then left, Hate Incidents Response Coordinator Brandon Brod said.
Hall residents who witnessed the incident notified Resident Director Seth Avakian, who then called the UC Police Dept. Witnesses were unable to identify the suspects in the elevator because their faces were not visible.
“This type of behavior is totally unacceptable,” Avakian said. “We don’t accept it in our community.”
Meetings were held on each floor of San Nicolas last Tuesday to inform students about the incident. Brod said that he, Avakian, Assistant Resident Director Gina Ippilitto and Residential Life Assistant Director Linda Croyle held mandatory meetings on each floor, including the fifth floor where the incident occurred. CSOs are doing extra patrols through the building in the evenings, and the UCPD has been alerted of the situation, as has Dean of Students Yonie Harris.
“Not everyone knew about the incident. There was a lot of shock and sadness,” Avakian said. “People had a lot of questions about what we were doing in response to the incident.”
Students, uninformed about the measures administrators had taken in this case, formed two committees Sunday – one to talk to Residential Life administrators and one to talk to the UCSB Office of Student Life.
“There is a lot of racist sentiment, on both sides now, because [students] feel that the institution isn’t doing enough,” Higa said.
Yesterday Brod met with the three-member OSL committee about the administration’s reaction to the incident. He said that, until today, students were not aware there had been a response by the residence halls or the Office of Student Life.
“We talked about the actions Student Life is taking as a response to this incident and what happens with judicial affairs, should someone be caught,” Brod said. “The meeting went really, really well.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to e-mail Avakian at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the San Nicolas front desk at 893-2469.