Letter from UC Irvine Student to President Yudof concerning November 4th Presentation

Dear President Yudof (CC: Chancellor Drake, Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Parham, Dean Talesh, and ASUCI President Nayudu),

I think that I can speak for the Jewish UC Irvine students present yesterday in thanking you for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with us. Your efforts to reach out and hear our concerns about anti-Semitism on our campus are very much appreciated. Many of those present last night asked me about the contents of the folder which I handed you, and so I have BCCed them on this e-mail. Below my message are the links to the documents I provided you (which I spent a considerable amount of time highlighting as a way to show my respect of your time), including some that demonstrate the discriminatory actions of the UCI Police Department.

Before getting to that content, I would like to point out that the entire Jewish student population was not represented last night. Missing were a number of students who often feel intimidated, and have found the UCI administration and staff to be not only unhelpful, but sometimes negative in response to their reporting instances when their civil rights had been violated. (emphasis added)I continue to encourage them to come forth, but as always I respect their privacy and whatever decisions they take on how to handle these types of situations, which do occur year-round. As Isaac Yerushalmi (former president of Anteaters for Israel and easily the most well-respected pro-Israel student advocate on our campus for the past several years) has stated, “UC Irvine has been a hotbed for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activism [since 2001/2]”. (https://octaskforce.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/huge-anti-israel-rally-at-uc-irvine-president-of-afi-uc-irvine-has-been-a-hotbed-for-anti-israel-and-anti-semitic-activism-over-the-past-seven-years-2/)

Even after answering our questions, many students still feel that both you and the UCI administration are not doing enough to address the hostile anti-Israel and anti-Semitic actions that occur, which makes it easier for anti-Semitism to spread on our campus. I understand that your position as UC President puts you in a difficult spot, and I appreciate that you are willing to take tougher stances on these issues than Chancellor Drake and the UCI administration. However, a problem still exists and the longer that it is left unattended, the harder it will be to quell. I hope progress can be made given your efforts on improving how hate crimes are defined, in addition to the recent development that Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act includes Jewish people as a protected group.

I was persistent last night about one point, which was the allocation of mandatory student fees to fund hate speech and support of terrorism. I understand that the legality of the matter has been in a state of flux during these past two decades, but I still think that progress can be made. Despite what you said to the students and also to the community members, it appears that UC schools are currently enforcing certain content-based guidelines in how they fund student-run programs. As an example, item 4 of page 3 of the ASUCI programming funding board states that “Funds will not be allocated to: Political candidates, committees or campaigns; Programs conducting religious services, including, but not limited to: ceremonies, rituals, sermons, etc.”. (http://www.asuci.uci.edu/documents/spfbguidelines.pdf)

I have offered what I believe to be a proactive approach in dealing with the hostilities on campus, which is to reinstate previous UC policies (e.g. #83.20 can be interpreted to require student funding boards to turn down proposals of programs which contain hate speech and/or support of terrorism) or to create new UC policies which are similar. While this will not solve the entire problem, it would help to reduce the reach of these programs, which are often filled with anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Thank you again for your time and for reference I have included links below for the documents which I handed to you yesterday.

(Name redacted)

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