Boalt's Anti-Hate Mail Rally Draws Big Press Coverage

The campus's strong denouncement on Feb. 15 of hate mail distributed to students of color at Boalt Hall was widely covered by local and national news, including a front page photo in the New York Times and a segment by Peter Jennings on ABC's World News Tonight.

Typically, the Boalt Hall reaction ran with stories on the California initiative against affirmative action.

The Feb. 15 rally outside Boalt Hall was a remarkable show of solidarity with many speakers, including law school students, Dean Herma Hill Kay and Chancellor Tien.

In denouncing the hate mail, Tien told students, "We are taking all possible steps to determine who is responsible for the distribution of the material," and promised "the strongest possible sanctions," if the culprit is found to be a member of the university community.

On a personal level, Tien recalled his own experiences with immigrant bashing. But, he told the students, "look at the community that surrounds you, the diversity that is synonymous with excellence at one of the finest universities in the world. This is reality and this is a beacon of hope for the society in which we all wish to live."

Earlier, Kay met with reporters and told them that "the entire Boalt Hall community--students, faculty, staff and administration--has come together to condemn this despicable conduct.... The author of these hateful words seems to believe that people of color do not belong at Boalt. The author is wrong. It is the author who does not belong here."

Kay said the hate mail--delivered in December and again Feb. 11--was turned over to campus police to assist their investigation.


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