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UCSD Noose Perpetrator Suspended, Tension Mounts

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The Los Angeles Times reported today that the student who admitted to hanging a noose in the library at the University of California-San Diego has been suspended.

The student, who remains unnamed, faces significant punishment:

Under state law, hanging a noose, a symbol of racism and lynchings for many African Americans, if done with "intent to terrorize," is considered a misdemeanor that can bring up to a year in county jail and a $5,000 fine.

The noose incident spurred multiple protests in the state. According to the blog Occupy CA, 300 UCSD students gathered outside Chancellor Marye Anne Fox's office to protest what they felt was a weak response to the incident from the school's administration. A similar protest formed at UCLA to show solidarity with UCSD students.

These latest events have exacerbated mounting racial tension within the UC system. Last week,
a ghetto-themed off-campus party at UCSD angered students and prompted an investigation by campus administrators to determine whether it violated campus code of conduct. Shortly after, the school's student television channel was shut down after a program defending the party and mocking Black History month aired.

At UC Irvine, a column questioning the purpose of Black History Month in the student paper heightened hostilities. The column begins:

It is irritating how many people today believe that racism will end as long as every American minority has a special day, week, month, club or organization dedicated to them. One such example of a holiday that supposedly helps to eliminate racism is Black History Month, which takes place every February to celebrate the various accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans throughout American history.

Yesterday, UC system President Mark Yudof released an official statement, co-signed by the system's chancellors, denouncing racism and calling for increased dialogue across the state:

As always, the remedy for bad speech is good speech. For that reason, we call on all members of the UC community -- students, faculty and staff -- to affirm and defend the values of the University of California. We are speaking out and ask that you do the same whenever, wherever and however you confront behavior that violates the principles and values of this university.

Stay tuned for updates.

WATCH: USCD students respond to noose incident.