UCLA Student Off Hook for Video Rant Against Asians
Asian Student Group 'Disappointed' Wallace Not in Violation of School Policy
Mar. 18, 2011— -- UCLA student Alexandra Wallace, whose viral video rant about Asians sparked outrage and a nationwide debate about whether her disparaging remarks were considered "free speech," will face no disciplinary action by the university and reportedly plans to withdraw from school.
"While some of the sentiments that were expressed in the video were hurtful, appalling and offensive, we have not uncovered any acts that violated the student code of conduct," university spokesman Phil Hampton told ABCNews.com today. "We have no intention of pursuing the matter further."
Hampton added that the university "zealously protects freedom of expression, however misguided or offensive to our core values that speech may be."
He also said the university was "disappointed with some of the threatening and vitriolic language that has been used by some in response to the video.
UCLA's Daily Bruin posted a letter today online in which the student newspaper said Wallace apologized for offending "the UCLA community and the entire Asian culture. ... I made a mistake. My mistake, however, has lead to the harassment of my family, the publishing of my personal information, death threats, and being ostracized from an entire community," according to the letter the Daily Bruin said was released through a spokesman for the Wallace family.
"Accordingly, for personal safety reasons, I have chosen to no longer attend classes at UCLA."
Wallace, a junior political science major, received death threats after her videotaped tirade, titled "Asians in the Library," was posted last Friday, the same day the earthquake and tsunami hit.
In the video, which went viral over the weekend, Wallace vented about "the hordes of Asian people" at UCLA and mocked them for talking on the phone in the library. "Ohhhh! Ching chong ling long ting tong!" she said, imitating an Asian student talking on the phone.
UCLA's Asian Pacific Coalition, an organization representing the university's 24 Asian-American and Pacific Islander student groups, called for the univeristy to discipline Wallace for using "hate speech" and violating the student code of conduct.
Layhannara Tep, the coalition's director, told ABCNews.com that she was "disappointed that the university will not take any more measures to investigate this matter."
"Whether or not the university found her in violation of the student code of conduct, she was in violation of our collective principles of community, which stresses the importance of tolerance and acceptance from people of all backgrounds," Tep said.
In an editorial in the Daily Bruin on Monday, the Asian Pacific Coalition called Wallace's comments "hate speech, an act of discrimination, harassment and profiling."
They called for an apology from Wallace and a statement from the administration.
On Monday, Wallace apologized for the video in a letter to the campus newspaper: "Clearly the original video posted by me was inappropriate," she said in the statement. "I cannot explain what possessed me to approach the subject as I did, and if I could undo it, I would. I'd like to offer my apology to the entire UCLA campus. For those who cannot find it within them to accept my apology, I understand."
The school's chancellor, Gene Block, called the incident "a sad day for UCLA."
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