After attempting racially segregated Welcome Week events, UC San Diego edits event page to include students of all races

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is backpedaling on their earlier plan to host fall orientation programs that exclude Whites.

Campus Reform reported on the orientation earlier this month.

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is backpedaling on their earlier plan to host fall orientation programs that exclude White people.

On Aug. 9, Campus Reform reported that UCSD was excluding White families from participating in freshman Welcome Week programs.

The events included a “Black, Latinx, and Native American Family Orientation” as well as a “Black Surf Week.” 

After UCSD announced the discriminatory orientation events earlier in the summer, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) sent an Aug. 2 letter to the university suggesting that such practices were both wrong and avoidable. 

[RELATED: UC San Diego hosts segregated orientation]

The letter states that “Title VI of the of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which effectuates the Equal Protection Clause, forbids institutions receiving federal financial assistance from discriminating ‘on the ground of race, color, or national origin.’” 

“Colleges and universities that accept payments from students receiving federal financial aid—like UCSD—are bound by Title VI,” the letter continues. 

FIRE requested receipt of a response to the letter no later than Aug. 16, 2022. 

UCSD responded to FIRE’s letter on Aug. 12, not only confirming receipt of FIRE’s letter, but also notifying FIRE of recent changes made to the university events webpage. 

“UC San Diego offers a variety of orientations for incoming undergraduate and graduate students, all of which are designed to facilitate a smooth transition into our campus community,” the response read.

“No UC San Diego student will be excluded from the Black, Latinx and Native American Family Orientation program, or any other university-sponsored event, on the basis of their race,” it continued. 

UCSD’s letter also stated that an assembled team made changes to the university website to add “clarifying language.” This included a line simply stating that all students and families are welcome to attend. 

[RELATED: Do segregated graduations hurt their intended audiences? One student says they do.]

UC San Diego did not respond to Campus Reform’s contact attempts. 

Graham Piro, Program Officer at FIRE, told Campus Reform in an emailed statement that they “are pleased that UCSD has clarified that its event ‘Black, Latinx, and Native American Family Orientation is open to all students, regardless of race, after receiving our letter. For more than 70 years, the Supreme Court has repeatedly reaffirmed that educational segregation is unlawful.”

“We are concerned by a recent pattern of universities limiting these sorts of events to students of certain racial backgrounds,” Piro’s statement continued. “While these efforts appear very well-intentioned, we urge universities to be mindful of their legal and moral obligations to avoid racial segregation when providing educational programming to their students.”

Every university and organization mentioned has been contacted for comment by Campus Reform. This article will be updated accordingly.