L.A. Now

UCLA student government condemns anti-Semitism

UCLA student government unanimously condemns anti-Semitism in vote

The student government at UCLA unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday that condemns all forms of anti-Semitism.

In a crowded hall on the university’s Westwood campus, the Undergraduate Students Assn. Council voted 12 to 0 in favor of a five-page resolution that denounces the hatred of Jews and calls for fair treatment of the university’s Jewish population.

The resolution, presented to the board by Hillel at UCLA, was spurred in part by the questions directed at a candidate for the student judicial panel, a board that examines ethics issues.

Undergraduate pre-law student Rachel Beyda was asked whether her being Jewish might present a conflict of interest on matters that came before the panel. Last year, the panel examined complaints from pro-Palestinian activists about whether two students violated rules by accepting free trips to Israel.

The council divided 4 to 4 on confirming Beyda, but after a faculty advisor notified students that questions on a candidate’s religion violated the rules, the council voted 9 to 0.

After video of the exchange was shared widely online, protests erupted and the four student government members issued an apology that was printed in the Daily Bruin: “Our intentions were never to attack, insult or de-legitimize the identity of an individual or people. It is our responsibility as elected officials to maintain a position of fairness, exercise justness, and represent the Bruin community to the best of our abilities, and we are truly sorry for any words used during this meeting that suggested otherwise.”

Tuesday’s resolution acknowledged the Feb. 10 questioning of Beyda, but also noted other “incidents of anti-Semitism” at UCLA and at other universities.

On Jan. 31, swastikas were found emblazoned on the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi at UC Davis. The student government at Durban University of Technology in South Africa called for the expulsion of Jewish students.

Video of the controversial Feb. 10 meeting has since become the first video removed from the student government’s YouTube channel, an action that has become another point of contention. The Daily Bruin reported that safety concerns motivated the removal of the entire video.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

Times staff writer Larry Gordon contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
77°