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UCSD students walk out of racial teach-in

February 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
At UC San Diego, a packed gathering designed to promote racial tolerance ended with students walking out and protesting outside a campus auditorium.On Wednesday, more than 1,200 students, faculty and staff packed an auditorium in the student center for a teach-in after two recent racially charged incidents. University administrators arranged the session after an off-campus party in La Jolla on Feb. 15 mocked Black History Month.

Wednesday, an hour into the event, hundreds of students marched out and staged their own peaceful rally outside the building.

Black students say the "Compton Cookout" party, which urged people to dress and act in racial stereotypes, was the spark that ignited ethnic tensions on campus. The university says it is investigating whether it can discipline the organizers of the party, which promised guests a taste of "life in the ghetto."

Several days after the party, a campus satire group voiced support for the party and used a racial slur on a student television show. The chairman of the Black Student Union declared a state of emergency to "address the hostile and toxic environment on campus."

Black students have called for increased minority student recruitment. University officials say about 1.6 percent of the campus's 23,143 undergraduates are African-American, the lowest percentage in the UC system.