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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Editorial: Work harder

In response to incidents of “racial intolerance and homophobia” on various UC campuses, UC President Mark Yudof launched the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion in June 2010. The council, which is comprised of various administrators and cultural and religious leaders, was tasked with outlining ways UC can attempt to make their campuses more accommodating for students of ethnic and religious minorities by minimizing hate speech on campus.

Plans of the report, which will come out in November, were met with skepticism and claims that the report was only created to silence these minorities, while little would be implemented. The council created a public survey for the campus communities of the UC system to participate in, giving them the opportunity to share their opinions on campus climate.

In actuality, Yudof also recognizes that little can be done to completely remove hate speech completely from UCs. In his words: “We can’t do it.”

This September, The Aggie, along with eight other UC campus newspapers, spoke with Yudof about various issues of concern to the UC system.

Among those issues was the creation of the council, and in response from questions from editors at UC Irvine and UC San Diego, Yudof was pragmatic. Yudof said that in an ideal world everyone would respond to the climate survey and the report would have an acceptable sample size. However, if the report does not garner responses from at least 30 percent of UC campus communities the report will not be accurate. This may be unlikely, considering many college students just don’t seem to care and the report would take 45 minutes to complete.

While we value his frankness on the issue, we don’t think coming to terms with the nature of hate on campuses and the laziness of college students should be quite that easy.

Yudof, who was a professor that taught the First Amendment for 30 years, explained that they have just about gotten it right, but we’re wondering if that is actually true.

“I’m not planning on trying to go further than our constitution permits,” Yudof said.

That statement is acceptable and we admire his realism, but more needs to be done to get people to actually care. The survey should be mandatory or an incentive should be offered for completion, not allowing students to register for classes until the survey is completed. While it is admirable that Yudof can be honest, the Office of the President could be doing more to get students involved in making our campuses hate-free.

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