"You've got mail!"
Below is the text of a letter sent to UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman by Attorney Shawn Steel, who is representing the College Republicans at UCI. It has been published in the California Political Review.
June 23, 2016
Chancellor Howard Gillman VIA FED EX, EMAIL & FAX
Fax Number: 949-824-2087
Dear Chancellor Gillman:
Please be advised this firm represents the UCI College Republicans including Ariana Rowlands, Robert Petrosyan and Peter Van Voorhis. As such, we are requesting a meeting with you directly concerning the rights and privileges of the UCI College Republicans.
As you are aware the UCICRs hosted a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos on June 2, 2016. Unfortunately, some of your administrators following the event has threatened and sanctioned with UCICR’s without notice or due process with inconsistent explanations.
The issues are far larger than the UCICR organization. UCI’s reputation for free speech and tolerance is deeply questioned.
Briefly please note that Ms. Esparza, Director of Campus Organizations Student Life and Leadership, requested to meet with UCICR President Ariana Rowlands on June 16, 2016. The meeting was set for June 20, 2016. During the meeting Ms. Esparza was notified that the UCICR were planning on hosting Milo in the fall prior to the federal elections. Ms. Esparza stated she was not happy to hear this.
A mere four hours later Mr. Pulli, whose title is Certified Meeting Professional Conference and Event Specialist, informed the UCICR’s leadership that the club was in violation of a “level II infraction’ and there would be “immediate suspension of the group for the remainder of the current quarter [Spring 2016] and the following three quarters…” No due process was noted.
The next day Ms. Esparza corrected Mr. Pulli stating his ‘suspension’ order was sent with “some confusing language.” That the UCICRs were not suspended as a club, but use of all UCI facilities for any meetings would be denied.
Hours later on UCI web site, stated that the UCICRs were not “suspended” but its “privilege to book event space through Student Center and Events Services has been revoked until spring 2017 quarter.” This was based on a completely false assertion. Namely that proof of insurance needed to be provided if the UCICRs brought a private security firm to their event. Consider these facts:
ü The UCICRs did not hire or pay for any security service.
ü Security was provided for Milo Yiannopoulos, because the administration failed to ensure his personal safety in a meeting. This we learned in a meeting with two administrators, a UCI police officer, myself and Mark Boucher on May 31, 2016.
ü That when an event hosted by the UCICRs on May 16, 2016, on campus, for speaker David Horowitz was held, he also secured private security – not through the UCICRs and no mention was made of insurance.
When we meet, with leaders of the UCICRs, we would like to also to discuss the following issues:
ü The suspension order is immediately removed;
ü Because of the lack of due process and conflicting statements from administration, a formal apology be issued from the Chancellor’s office to the UCICR’s;
ü An agreement providing fair and balanced funding to the UCICRs from student body funds to support their educational activities;
ü A room for 1,000 students be made available for the Milo fall event;
ü That one person be designated to work with this office and the UCICR’s for future events
We look forward to meeting with you.
Attorney for the UCI College Republicans