The UCSD Chinese Students and Scholars Association released a new statement to clarify its stance on the Dalai Lama as this year’s commencement speaker after meeting with Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.
Students and members of the CSSA met with the chancellor on Feb. 15 to ask the Dalai Lama’s campus commencement speech not mention politics and that the University refrain from describing the Dalai Lama as a “spiritual leader” or “in exile,” according to a Quartz article published last month.
Following the meeting, the group released a statement on Feb. 26 to clarify its initial statement denouncing the university’s decision.
In the statement, the group apologized for any “inappropriate wording” in the previous statement, writing that it was published after a “sudden incident.” It also clarified that the CSSA does not take direction from the Chinese consulate, stating the claim “lacks fidelity,” since the CSSA is an independent, non-profit organization. The statement clarified that the group only communicates with the consulate for cultural exchange and security of student education purposes.
The CSSA also wrote that it believes the university’s motive in inviting the Dalai Lama to campus is to advocate tolerance around campus, public service, and is in no way political.
Finally, the group promised to host a week promoting traditional Chinese culture to increase awareness, citing a lack of basic knowledge of Chinese history.
This article was compiled by the Triton News Staff.