UC Berkeley student body presidents sign UVA statement condemning hate

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Presidents of UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly and ASUC signed the University of Virginia, or UVA, Student Council’s “#StudentsAgainstHate” statement, which was published Sunday on Facebook.

More than 50 different student body organizations, at colleges across the United States including six UC campuses, have signed the statement, which was published by the UVA student council.

“We request and require your full dedication to this collective work of fighting white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and all other forms of hate, even and especially when such action might prove challenging,” the statement reads.

Kena Hazelwood-Carter, president of the campus graduate assembly, said because she and ASUC President Zaynab AbdulQadir-Morris, both signed the statement the entire campus student body was represented. Hazelwood-Carter said campus student government received the letter from UCLA president Arielle Yael Mokhtarzadeh.

The statement recalled the violence near UVA’s campus at the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally and said that its signatories will not allow it to be forgotten.

Hazelwood-Carter also referenced previous incidents of violence in Berkeley as motivation for signing the statement. She added that when violent protests erupted on campus in response to conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos’ appearance, the violence could have resulted in a fatality, resembling the far-right Charlottesville rally that took place August.

The statement’s explicit mention of anti-Semitism was especially compelling, as was its apolitical tone, according to Hazelwood-Carter.

The statement said that, as future leaders of the nation’s workforce, its signatories will work to advance equality and justice in all that they do. It also called upon people of privilege, as opposed to just those targeted, to do so.

“We should be as idealistic about our ability to change the world for good as we ever will be,” the statement read.

The Daily Californian has partnered with ProPublica’s Documenting Hate project to collect incidents of hate crimes in Berkeley. If you’ve been a victim of a hate crime or bias-related incident, please fill out our form here.

Contact Henry Tolchard at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @htolchard.