UC Irvine: What’s up?

(The  Orange County Independent Task force on anti-Semitism received a copy, this morning,  of the following letter from the organization,  Act! for America:)

Chancellor Michael Drake

University of California, Irvine

Dear Chancellor Drake,

On behalf of ACT! for America, a nationwide issues advocacy organization with over 130,000 members and 425 local chapters, I urge the University of California at Irvine (UCI) to implement its own disciplinary recommendations against the Muslim Student Union (MSU).  It is my understanding you were present the evening the MSU carried out repeated disruptions of the Israeli Ambassador’s address.   Several hundred more witnessed the obviously orchestrated interruptions and tens of thousands more saw it later on the Internet.  The Muslim students continued to chant “Down with Israel” just outside the building after they all left the lecture hall together in another obviously planned disruption.   The MSU and their defenders continue to assert this was all spontaneous.

UCI staff undertook the prescribed investigative process, produced a detailed lengthy report describing the evidence and testimony, and, based on their Findings of Facts,  made a formal recommendation of suspension to the University.   The evidence included minutes of the MSU meeting before the event, MSU emails, and witness testimony.  Legal counsel represented the MSU in the process.  Among the 21 separate Findings of Fact was one that found  “The disruptions were planned, orchestrated and coordinated in advance by the Muslim Student Union.”  Another finding was “The Muslim Student Union instructed its members to tell anyone who asked that ‘MSU did not officially put this on… and …”It was NOT an MSU event.’” [Emphasis in the original]

ACT! for America is concerned that UCI will again bow to perceived pressures and dictates of political correctness and decide not to impose its own recommended disciplinary measures on the MSU.   Previous indulgences have resulted in episodes of more  violations of campus policy and ever-escalating assaults on common decency.  UCI’s forgiveness of the MSU for the improper and illegal Galloway fundraiser on campus is only the most recent example.  UCI excused the MSU for the falsification on the event application because it was “unable to determine whether the failure was negligent, reckless or intentional.”  This lenient treatment undoubtedly emboldened the MSU and I have no doubt helped encourage the outrages at the event featuring the Israeli Ambassador event several months later.  Failure to implement appropriate discipline with respect to this most recent transgression will set a “Heckler’s Veto” precedent  on the UCI campus.

In the MSU press release announcing its formal appeal of the disciplinary recommendations, the MSU complained that a suspension would jeopardize Muslim students’ speech rights under the First Amendment.  They misconstrue the Constitution and Campus Policy by insisting on a perceived unconditional entitlement to deprive all others with whom they disagree of their freedom of speech.

I urge you to consider several recurring themes within the published defenses made by MSU students and various groups of Muslim legal organizations defending them.   In the MSU meeting documents and in the subsequent defense given by the students there is the argument that, after all, the disruptions were against a spokesman for Israel (!).  This monomaniacal and pathological obsession with Israel that dominates and justifies everything the MSU does, while not unique to UCI, is a serious problem that must be addressed.   Another problematical defense from the attorney organizations, the MSU’s supposed mentors and role models, is that they continue to deny that the disruptions were planned and carried out as an organization despite the dispositive evidence on precisely that course of action at the MSU meeting.   The complete absence of any acknowledgement of wrongdoing is a clear indication that they reserve the right to do engage in this outrageous behavior again.

We urge you to implement the disciplinary action recommended for the MSU organization and carry out appropriate disciplinary action against the involved individual students to ensure that they understand that they have to follow the same rules and policies that all other campus organizations follow and, if not, that there will be consequences.  The MSU should not be allowed back as a recognized campus organization unless and until it adopts the same Code of Conduct as everyone else.

Sincerely,

Guy Rodgers

Executive Director, Act! for America

CC   Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

U.S. Representative John Campbell

U.S. Representative Brad Sherman

UCI Board of Regents

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore

Mark Yudof, President, University of California Board of Regents

Manual Gomez, UCI Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs

Rameen Talesh, UCI Dean of Students and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student    Affairs

Susan Tuchman, Esq., Zionist Organization of America

Rabbi  Aron Hier, Simon Wiesenthal Center

Rabbi Marc Dworkin, American Jewish Committee

Dr. Kevin O’Grady, Anti-Defamation League

Ted Bleiweis, Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism

Shalom Elcott, President, Jewish Federation of Orange County

Jeffrey Margolis, Co-Chair, Jewish Federation of Orange County’s Rose Project

OCITF: “Keep in mind that until the appeals process has been completed, it is premature to draw any conclusions about the outcome.”

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