As a student newspaper, we are all for free speech. That being said, the video was racist, and UCI must take action. Thankfully, the group issued an apology, but it is far from being in the clear. The incident is now receiving national attention, and UCI is now in a position that UCSD — home of the controversial 2010 “Compton Cookout” — is all too familiar with.
For those unacquainted with the controversial event that brought on a federal investigation by the Department of Justice, the “Compton Cookout” was a racially charged off-campus party hosted by members of the Greek community at UCSD, followed by a spiral of outrage.
UCSD took years to recover from the events that put it on the national map in such a light and the same could happen to UCI if their administrators choose to stand idly by as students take action. For UCSD, the student movement that followed the Cookout eventually pushed the university to implement the position of vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and agree to a list of 19 demands from the Black Student Union, including the institution of an diversity curriculum requirement.
We would like to think that UCSD could give a bit of advice to UCI as they begin to address the “Suit and Tie” debacle.
UCI now has the opportunity to fix their controversy the right way. This means reform initiation beginning with the administrators — not simply in theory, but in conjunction with student ideas to create concrete change. Administrators will need to implement strict policies regarding discrimination and racism, with even more emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the university’s curriculum. UCI staff and faculty leaders cannot afford to stand by in such a time of controversy, and we are eager to see how the university takes steps to promote tolerance and diversity and preventing further demonstrations of blatant racism.