‘Unacceptable and disturbing’: UC Berkeley students accused of racism on Twitter

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In recent weeks, more incoming and current UC Berkeley students have been accused of saying discriminatory remarks on social media, and users on Twitter are calling for accountability.

Current campus students have seen and tweeted about these remarks, advocating for campus administration to revoke admissions of the students and for the UC Berkeley Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, or OPHD, to get involved. According to campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore, UC Berkeley administration is aware of these tweets. Gilmore added that these posts are “unacceptable and disturbing.”

“We want members of our Berkeley community to know that such comments and actions run counter to our values as a university and as a community,” Gilmore said in an email.

Students who have demonstrated racist or divisive behavior may be subject to campus disciplinary action based on the Code of Student Conduct, Gilmore added.

Ben Allins, a rising campus senior, was accused of condemning the current Black Lives Matter protests on Twitter. Allins, however, said he supports the “peaceful protests” and their message.

“People of all races came together in support of BLM movement to protest the atrocity and the injustice,” Allins said in an email. “The unity among people is one of the important aspects that brings about change.”

In a tweet, Dalila Aguilar, an incoming freshman at New York University, accused incoming UC Berkeley freshman Cristian Zamora of repeatedly using racial epithets. Zamora was contacted for comment but did not respond as of press time.

Aguilar and Zamora both went to Summit High School in Fontana, California. Aguilar said posting information about Zamora online was a way for her to bring awareness to his actions, and her tweets caught the attention of many UC Berkeley students.

“We encourage members of the campus community to treat each other with respect and dignity,” Gilmore said in the email.

Campus administration advises students and campus community members who experience discrimination or harassment to report any incidents to OPHD.

Contact Shylie Ati at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @shylieati.