Thursday, April 7, 2016

SFSU: Les Wong's Response to My Letter

This morning, I sent a letter to SFSU president Les Wong regarding last night's incident in which an Israeli speaker was disrupted.

I give Dr Wong credit for one thing: He has promptly responded. Here is the text of his e-mail to me this afternoon.

Mr. Fouse, 
I was troubled by reports coming to me from my police and security team 
this morning.  They are completing their investigatory work especially 
with regard to the potential violation of a number of student conduct 
codes which will inform the formal conduct hearings.  We do not condone 
their behavior and I am quite saddened by it.  But our conduct processes 
will now take over.  Police were present and made a number of attempts to 
move them out of the area.  I appreciate your note.  A letter to faculty, 
staff, students, donors and supporters is being distributed today. 
Dr. Les Wong 
San Francisco State University 

Here is Wong's statement to the campus community.

1 comment:

Dusty said...

Good explanation of what happened here:

Mayor Barkat’s visit was planned. University administrators expected both him and the disruptors, who reliably attend all Israeli speaking events here. The university police were sent in. But, in a decision that should deeply disturb all who value a civil society, and one that I as a Jew find profoundly demoralizing, the police were instructed not to remove the disruptors and instead to stand by and watch the event be completely shut down.

Please let that sink in. Public university administrators and police stood and watched as the Mayor of Jerusalem, the Jewish student organization that sponsored him, and all of us in attendance, were permanently bullied off the stage. Officers with guns, and the power that comes from the barrels of those guns, were instructed to stand, watch, and do nothing, as freedom of speech was replaced with a policy of whoever shouts the loudest wins, at least when it comes to shouting down a visiting Israeli dignitary. Those whom we thought were there to protect us and restore order, stood, watched, and did nothing.

The administrators’ and police’s high profile inaction emboldened the mob, which consequently grew louder and more brazen. We waited and waited for the disruptors to be removed so the event could proceed, but it never happened. Eventually, Mayor Barkat asked us to huddle around him so he could speak to us over the mob’s chants, but it was a lost cause.

“Get the fuck off our campus, get the fuck off our campus,” the mob yelled at us with bullhorns, indoors, over and over. “Get the fuck off our campus.”