UCLA Student Alexandra Wallace Apologizes to Campus' Asians


"We'll be taking a look at the language that she uses in the video to see if it violates any codes under the student code, perhaps regarding harassment," Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students Robert J. Naples told the Daily Bruin, the university's newspaper, on Monday.

The investigation sparked debate throughout the country about whether Wallace should be punished and whether her comments were protected by the First Amendment.

UCLA law professor and noted First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh weighed in on the debate. In a blog post Tuesday he said, "The speech is clearly constitutionally protected, as well as being moronic."

"The premise of the American university (and, I think, American self-government more broadly) is that people need to be free to express their views," Volokh wrote, adding that implementing that premise meant "boneheaded statements have to be as protected as more well-reasoned statements."

The New York Times sided with Volokh in an editorial Thursday.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education or FIRE, in a letter sent to the chancellor Tuesday, urged the university to close its investigation, saying Wallace's tirade is protected by the First Amendment and does not constitute harassment.

Ultimately, Hampton said Friday, the university "uncovered no facts that would lead us to believe there has been a violation of the code of conduct."

But David Yoo, the director of the Asian American Studies Center, hopes the issue does not end here. "It's important to move beyond the individual," he said, "to what are the larger issues that underlie that. This goes to larger issues of campus climate and culture."

Yoo said for over a decade students have been pushing for a course on diversity that undergraduates would be required to take just as they do at every other campus in the University of California system. He and Lane Hirabayashi, the Asian American Studies Department chair, once again called on the university to implement such a requirement.

Tep from the Asian Pacific Coalition agreed for the need for such a course. She said not only Wallace's comments but the response to her comments showed the need for a change in the campus climate.

"UCLA must demonstrate its commitment to creating a safe environment for every student," Tep said. "More importantly, UCLA must demonstrate its commitment for preparing all students for our increasingly diverse world."

Others have responded to Wallace's video with videos of their own. In one humorous slap at Wallace, a young Asian American fashioned her words into a song.

"Underneath the pounds of makeup and your baby blue eyes, I know there's a lot of pain and hurt, for such a big brain to spend all night studying Poly Sci, so I pick up my phone and sing," the young man sings in the chorus. "Ching chong: It means I love you. Ling long: I really want you. Ting tong: I don't actually know what that means."

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