A.S. Council Brief: Investigation Reveals that Zoom-Bombers Were Not UCSD Students

Associated Student Senators heard results from university officials about the investigation into the recent Zoom bombing incident during their first meeting with 2020-2021 elected senators on Wednesday, June 3.

The presentation was in response to the May 31 zoom bombing incident during which racial slurs were used against black students in a meeting demanding changes to UC San Diego’s final grading option due to recent activity involving police brutality and protests. 

Chief Information Security Officer Michael Corn, Director of the Office for Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination Michael Diaz, and Campus Privacy Officer Pegah Parsi presented the outcomes of the UCSD investigation into the incident revealing that the responsible parties were located in the Middle East and are not members of the UCSD community.

Corn further explained that this is a typical trend in Zoom bombing incidents, as interruptions usually come from outside the campus community. He revealed that there are certain websites that share Zoom meeting addresses. 

The student who was interrupted, junior Syreeta L. Nolan, shared her experience with the incident and her thoughts about the campus’s response.

While the university cannot fully prevent Zoom bombings, they urge students and faculty to take individual measures to avoid such incidents. Some steps to increase security during Zoom meetings are to use passwords, avoiding using personal meeting IDs, the use of waiting rooms, and scheduling meetings in advance. More information and guidelines about Zoom privacy and security can be found here

Additionally A.S. President Kimberly Giangtran revealed that she is working on a letter along with Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Alison Sanders and the Black Resource Center to urge different department chairs to accommodate students in light of recent events and protests.  

Giangtran explained that many professors are unaware of the rights they hold and believe that they are incapable of administering shorter final exams or making exams no-risk. This letter will be a last plea to departments to notify professors and make more accommodations for students.

Artwork by Allyson Llacuna for The UCSD Guardian.

This article was updated at 11:30 p.m. to include Director of the Office for Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination Michael Diaz in the investigation.