To the Occidental Community:

On March 10, The Occidental published a story about a yearbook photo published in the 1980 Occidental La Encina yearbook that showed five white male students captioned “The Aryan Alliance.” Asked to comment, President Jonathan Veitch provided the following statement.

The comments from Bill Davis and Barry Crosthwaite [provided to The Occidental] make it clear that this was a poorly conceived “inside joke,” and that there was no club or organization with that name. Using such fraught language even jokingly was clearly wrong, insensitive and made without any thought as to how it might hurt others.

This is yet another example of why we need to move ahead with our important conversation about Oxy’s history that we have already begun with the Oxy community. Even a cursory glance at La Encina reveals racially charged images as well as examples of cultural appropriation and sexism.

If we are to move forward as a community, ultimately we must do so collaboratively, involving all key stakeholders in the process. We have much to be proud of at Oxy, and it’s important not to lose sight of that fact.

We will be reaching out to ASOC and Faculty Council this coming week to ask them to meet and determine how best to move ahead when students and faculty return from spring break. The discussion of Oxy’s history and its implications for today is already on the agenda for the Board of Trustees’ April meeting. Our goal is to have an action plan in place that carries us through the summer and keeps our momentum going into the fall.

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