TMCSC condemns The Koala

The Thurgood Marshall College Student Council passed a resolution condemning content of the most recent issue of The Koala at its Oct. 11 meeting.

Student Affirmative Action Committee Representative Isaac Pearlman authored and introduced the resolution, which states that TMCSC “”upholds the UCSD Principles of Community which ‘affirm the right to freedom of expression,’ while also ‘affirming each individual’s right to dignity.'””

The editor of The Koala, George Liddle, said that he believes that The Koala has not offensively portrayed any groups in the publication.

The council slightly amended the resolution before it was passed. Pearlman introduced the resolution in an e-mail earlier in the week so that members could review it, according TMCSC Chair Adam Sharki.

The council passed the resolution 20-0.

“”Everybody was very much for this,”” Sharki said.

In the resolution, the council “”strongly urges the members of The Koala to make retributions to all ethnic communities they have offensively portrayed in its issue by either volunteering for community service helping those specific ethnicities they have slandered, donating space in their next edition to the various group[s] they have offended to publish educational material, holding a fundraiser and donating proceeds to minority organizations, or at the very least giving a sincere public apology to every ethnic group they have offended.””

Liddle said The Koala won’t be meeting the resolution’s requests.

“”The Koala has no plans in the foreseeable future to do any volunteer community service or make a public apology,”” Liddle said.

Sharki said that TMCSC is “”all for freedom of expression and freedom of speech,”” but he also said that “”there’s too much tolerance of intolerance.””

College councils and the A.S. Council have received complaints about The Koala. TMCSC was the first council to pass a resolution against the publication.

“”This type of attack is offensive to us as individuals and as representatives to our college, which prides itself on its diversity and has incorporated it as a major part of our school’s philosophy,”” the resolution states. “”Diversity of race and ethnicity are critical components of any modern society and the abuse or degeneration of any one person’s heritage is an affront to all of us.””

Sharki said that the other councils on campus are considering similar actions. He said that figuring out what action to take was difficult for his council.

“”It was a matter of trying to figure out what we can do,”” Sharki said.

The resolution was passed in response to complaints brought by numerous groups and individuals.

“”We recognize the complaints from the members of the Student Affirmative Action Committee … [complaints from] the president of the Union of Jewish Students and the president of Alpha Epsilon Pi as valid, and condemn any promulgation of negative ethnic stereotypes, racial slurs and any other type of insults to people’s heritage,”” the resolution states.

Sharki feels that some sort of action was necessary to help students feel safe.

“”A lot of people don’t see it as humor. A lot of people find it offensive and it tears apart the fabric of our community,”” Sharki said. “”People were feeling uncomfortable. It hit people on a very personal level.””

Liddle thinks that The Koala did not overstep any boundaries.

“”We have freedom of the press in this country and this is what it entails, it allows people to do stuff like this,”” Liddle said.

He said he is not angry at TMCSC for the resolution.

“”Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,”” Liddle said.

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