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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Editorial: Town hall meeting

Recent hate crimes on UC campuses have evoked the need for a collective effort from our community.

Yet the initial efforts for unity have been met with some criticism from those who believe administrators and media have no business contributing to dialogue and support.

Nearly 400 members of the community attended Monday’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center (LGBTRC) town hall meeting to address the vandalism on the doors of the LGBTRC and of a Jewish resident in the dorms, in addition to hate crimes on other UC campuses.

While most of the dialogue allowed for those affected by the hate crimes to express their concerns and support their peers, several individuals felt inhibited by the presence of the media and offended by the presence administrators such as Chancellor Linda Katehi and Associate Executive Vice Chancellor Rahim Reed.

However, denouncing the media and administration contradicts the action our campus must take to prevent future hate crimes. Efforts by the media and administrators are attempts to unite and eliminate hate. They are positive, not oppositional. For example, the presence of media at the meeting enabled the constructive dialogue to reach an even larger community.

Also, the administrators present heard the concerns of those who felt underrepresented. Though simply attending was the least they could do, the discussions held may impact future policies, if not contribute to better communication between students and the university. If administrators hadn’t attended, their inaction would have been criticized as detrimental to the campus movement.

Those against the presence of administrators also felt that because of a decrease of funding to services such as the LGBTRC and the Cross Cultural Center, administrators do not have students’ best interests in mind.

However, every department is suffering from budget cuts. The LGBTRC and CCC experienced the smallest cuts of any units in the student affairs division. Both experienced a 5 percent cut from their base budgets, said Janet Gong, Associate Vice Chancellor for student affairs.

Lower cuts like this do not soften the blow of a decrease in service by any means. Indeed, these centers should be salvaged from the debilitating budget cuts, if at all possible. Yet claiming that the administration is discriminating against underrepresented groups by lowering funding is misdirected.

The majority of those active in eliminating discrimination on campus have done so by including the entire community. Their efforts help to spread an extremely encouraging message that will hopefully overshadow hate on campus. However, anger is not a component of an anti-hate movement. If an individual hopes to contribute and support those afflicted by hate crimes, that individual should not be sent away.

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