UCLA Student’s Jewish Background Questioned During Vote For Judicial Board

WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A Jewish student running for a seat on a judicial council at UCLA was questioned about how she would decide on a matter that dealt with Jewish students should she be elected, according to a video clip.

The incident occurred during an Undergraduate Students Association Council meeting.

As KCAL9’s Andrea Fujii reports, it was then sophomore Rachel Beyda’s Jewish background came under fire while up for a vote to be on the group’s judicial council.

According to a video clip posted on YouTube, an unidentified student posed the following question:

“Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community … given that recently … [inaudible] has been surrounding cases of conflict of interest, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view … [inaudible]?”

That’s when Avinoam Baral, president of the group, interrupted.

“The discussion was really discriminatory in nature. I had to step in and say my peace,” Baral told Fujii.

Baral says several members were questioning Beyda’s judgment if she were to decide on a matter that dealt with Jewish students.

A vote was taken and Beyda was denied the position.

After further discussion, though, the group voted her in but some students say the damage has been done.

“I was honestly just sickened at the way they questioned her,” said Heena Doshi, a UCLA student.

UCLA’s Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Janina Montero, released a statement, which read in part: “I believe our community is more generous, thoughtful and inclusive than this particular incident would suggest.”

KCAL9 asked Beyda to be a part of the story but she declined as she is on the judicial board.

Meanwhile, Fujii has been told that student members, who originally voted against Beyda, have since apologized.

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