Chinese students at UC San Diego want a safe space from Dalai Lama’s graduation speech


The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has decided to invite the Dalai Lama to be its graduation speaker, hurting the feelings of some of its Chinese students who consider him a dangerous separatist.

Writing for Quartz, Josh Horwitz notes a fascinating phenomenon in how some students are voicing their discontent by appropriating the rhetoric that has become popular for on-campus protests these days. Spicing up the tired, old debate over the Dalai Lama with new words like diversity, political correctness and safe space.

For example, here’s what the university’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association had to say only hours after UCSD announced its decision earlier this month:

UCSD is a place for students to cultivate their minds and enrich their knowledge. Currently, the various actions undertaken by the university have contravened the spirit of respect, tolerance, equality, and earnestness—the ethos upon which the university is built. These actions have also dampened the academic enthusiasm of Chinese students and scholars. If the university insists on acting unilaterally and inviting the Dalai Lama to give a speech at the graduation ceremony, our association vows to take further measures to firmly resist the university’s unreasonable behavior. Specific details of these measures will be outlined in our future statements.

On Facebook, Quartz also found that Chinese students have protested the decision to invite the Nobel Peace Prize winner with comments like:


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