Improper and Unauthorized Use of Official University of California Seal

Note: according to an official in the Chancellors office on January 30, “the use of the seal was not authorized”

Dear Chancellor Drake,

On January 31, 2009 a program entitled “Whither the Levant?” The Crisis of the Nation-State: Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, will take place on the UC Irvine campus. It is billed as “a conference including documentary and feature screenings, panels and symposium, organized by Levantine Cultural Center and the University of California, Irvine, the Middle East Studies Student Initiative (MESSI). Cosponsored by the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies/UCI, American Friends Service Committee, LA Jews for Peace and supported by Diane and Jeanette Shammas, Lawrence Joseph, Kanan Hamzeh, Casey Kasem, Bana Hilal, Asad Farah and the Salaam-Shalom Educational Foundation. Also cosponsored by the Magic Lamp restaurant in Long Beach.”

We want to be clear that we do not take issue with the notion that this program falls under First Amendment protection and it’s promoters have a right to its presentation;  However, we take strong exception, and object, to the use of the name and official logo of the University of California, as it implies that the UCI and the University of California support the content of this program. The promotional flier clearly depicts the Seal of the University of California. (see attached)

It is important that everyone has an opportunity to discuss these sensitive issues, however, it is our opinion this program is extremely one sided and biased. It is heavily weighted with individuals who are well known detractors of the State of Israel and others who some consider to be anti-Semitic. Furthermore, the timing of this program coincides with the Jewish Sabbath, so as, to preclude authentic academic discussion and debate on the relevant issues.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA POLICIES APPLYING TO
CAMPUS ACTIVITIES, ORGANIZATIONS, AND STUDENTS STATES, IN PART:

41.11 Campus Neutrality Regarding Religious and Political Organizations
Religious and political organizations shall have access to University property on the same basis as other organizations as set forth in Section 40.00 of this document. Political and religious organizations may be registered by the University and may sponsor political and religious programs and events by fulfilling registration requirements and by following applicable time, place, and manner regulations. However, to guarantee the neutrality of the University with regard to political and religious activities, no University support is permitted for such activities or for political and religious programs or events

60.20 CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE
Registered campus organizations are required to comply with University policies and campus regulations or they will be subject to revocation of registration, loss of privileges, or other sanctions for violation of such policies or regulations. In denying or revoking registration or applying sanctions, campus regulations shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, at the request of the registered campus organization, with basic standards of procedural due process.

60.30 Use of the University Name by a Registered Campus Organization
Permission to use the name of the University of California, Irvine, or any abbreviation thereof as part of the registered campus organization’s name may be granted only by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee.
1. A registered campus organization shall not use the name of the University of California or abbreviations thereof as part of its own name. For the purpose of geographical designation, “at UCI” may be used as part of the directions.
2. A registered campus organization may state that its membership is composed of students, faculty, and staff of the University of California, but shall not indicate or imply that it is acting on behalf of the University or with its approval or sponsorship.
3. Student-produced publications, student-operated radio television stations, and registered campus organizations may take positions on issues but must avoid any implications that they are representing the views of the University, or the student government, or the student body as a whole.

ACCORDING TO THE CALIFORNIA EDUCATION CODE SECTION 92000-92001:
92000.  (a) The name “University of California” is the property of the state.  No person shall, without the permission of the Regents of the University of California, use this name, or any abbreviation of it or any name of which these words are a part, in any of the following ways:
(1) To designate any business, social, political, religious, or other organization, including, but not limited to, any corporation, firm, partnership, association, group, activity, or enterprise.
(2) To imply, indicate or otherwise suggest that any such
organization, or any product or service of such organization is connected or affiliated with, or is endorsed, favored, or supported by, or is opposed by the University of California.
(3) To display, advertise, or announce this name publicly at, or in connection with, any meeting, assembly, or demonstration, or any propaganda, advertising, or promotional activity of any kind which has for its purpose or any part of its purpose the support, endorsement, advancement, opposition, or defeat of any strike, lockout, or boycott or of any political, religious, sociological, or economic movement, activity, or program.
(b)  Nothing in this section shall interfere with or restrict the his or her present or former relationship or connection with, his or her employment by, or his or her enrollment in, the University of California in the course of stating his or her experience or qualifications for any academic, governmental, business, or professional credit or enrollment, or in connection with any academic, governmental, professional, or other employment whatsoever.

(c) Every person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Accordingly, we respectfully request that the name and logo of the University of California, Irvine and the University of California be removed from all promotional materials, in order to insure that the public is aware the University does not officially endorse this event. Furthermore we request that, if violations have occurred,  appropriate sanctions be taken in accordance with the policies of the University of California, the University of California, Irvine, and the Education Code including, but not limited to section 60.20 as quoted above.  (See Poster)

Jan 31

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