Students learn to love for the week

    As part of a five-day program designed to help eliminate all types of hatreds and biases, students called each other “”bitches”” many times over, stomped on literature and learned how to love.

    One event that highlighted Hate-Free Campus Week was UCSD graduate and artist-in-residence Viviana Lombrozo’s art installation titled “”Taking a Stand.”” The exhibit, which allowed visitors to view Holocaust-related art while stomping on hate-inciting literature, honored those who aided Jews during the Holocaust.

    Organized by the Student Office of Human Relations, the week also featured a lecture by cultural speaker Gregorio Luke called “”The Art of Love.”” Luke educated an 80-person audience about the merits of various types of love.

    SOHR Director Elizabeth Urtecho felt that Luke helped students see the merits of love as a substitute for hate.

    “”You have the power to love and the power to hate. Love is an alternative to hate,”” she said.

    The Kaibigang Pilipino, Asian Pacific Islander Student Association and the African American Student Union added an anti-racism element to the week’s activites by staffing tables on Library Walk.

    A performance by the SOHR Troupe rounded out the program’s set of major events. The internationally recognized street theater group, which recently recieved an invitation to travel to Hong Kong, engaged students dining at Revelle College’s Plaza Cafe in a broad comedy skit titled “”Bitch Skit,”” which addressed the dangers of using offensive words such as “”bitch”” in seemingly benign contexts.

    The performance, while generally well-received, did cause a little bit of controversy.

    “”One of the staff members at Revelle came up to us and said that he found [the skit] incredibly offensive,”” said SOHR Assistant Director Richard del Castillo. “”The group doesn’t sugarcoat the message.””

    SOHR began its 2002 Hate-Free Campus Campaign, of which last week’s events were a part, in reaction to several on-campus crimes allegedly motivated by racism, homophobia and other forms of hatred. In one instance, a homosexual student found a flier advocating the murder of all homosexuals. In another, an African-American freshman received several calls, allegedly from friends of the Aryan Nation, who threatened her life and told her that “”niggers”” do not belong in La Jolla.

    While most of SOHR’s major events went off without a hitch, the office did suffer some major setbacks. Wednesday, the program’s most densely scheduled day, was almost entirely rained out. Friday morning’s Bomani Dance & Drum Ensemble performance also fell victim to the poor weather. Finally, not a single student showed up for for the film, “”Journey to a Hate Free Millineum”” presented by Nancy Tubbs, the director of UC Riverside’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Office.

    Last week’s conflict between Muslim and Jewish student groups served as a distraction from the program’s hate-free message. Urtecho, however, was undeterred.

    “”I think that we did pretty good under all circumstances,”” she said. “”I mean, there is a war. There are a lot of emotions out there.””

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