Saturday, May 13, 2017

UC Irvine: What Happened to the Regents' Statement of Principles/Chancellor's Implementation?

After the University of California Regents passed a revised statement of principles against intolerance that specifically addressed anti-semitism in March of 2016, UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman appointed a task force headed by Douglas Haynes, director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to look into how it could be implemented. Meanwhile, in May of 2016, the problem of anti-semitism at UCI (and other UC campuses) continued unabated. On May 18, the usual suspects from Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and other hotheads, aided and abetted by "legal observers" from the National Lawyers Guild (attached to the UCI Law School) disrupted a Jewish event showing a film about the Israel Defense Forces. And what was the punishment for SJP? They got off with a letter of warning probably delivered to their clubhouse and the Cross Cultural Center on campus from which they launched their disruption, and to which they marched back to after it was over-as they always do.

Then this week, SJP and their allies in the American Indian Student Association disrupted another Israeli event on campus, which I personally witnessed and videotaped, and in full view of a university official as well. Campus cops were belatedly called and had to escort the attendees and IDF speakers away from the scene. Meanwhile, university officials spent the week telling peaceful pro-Israel folks to keep a certain number of steps away from the mock "apartheid wall" to respect the pro-Palestinian students' "space".

So here are my questions:

1 Whatever happened to the UC Regents' statement of principles?

2 Whatever happened to the findings of the UCI chancellor's task force on implementation?

3 What will happen to SJP now that they have ignored their letter of warning?

4 What will happen to the students who are repeat offenders, you know, those who participated in both disruptions? Will they continue to be students at UCI?

It has become abundantly clear that UCI administrators are unable or unwilling to protect Jewish students on campus. (The same is true of UC President Janet Napolitano and her other chancellors up and down the state.) The incidents and disruptions continue in spite of warnings over the years that one day there will be a tragedy on campus. Reports, investigations, and findings are nothing more than scraps of paper kept in files to cover the school's you-know-what.

Another thing that has been clear for years is that no amount of attempts at dialogue, cross cultural understanding, sensitivity sessions, and letters of warning will work. What is needed are protection and discipline. What is needed is the permanent banning of SJP and their bullies from the UCI campus (as well as every other university in the country). When these incidents happen, administrators should call in the campus police to make removals and, if appropriate arrests. None of that happened Wednesday night, just as it didn't happen last May 18, 2016.

It is also time for a thorough house cleaning at UCI and the entire UC system beginning with Napolitano. At UCI, it is my view that Chancellor Gillman is incompetent in this area. It is also my view that his vice chancellor, Thomas Parham, is indifferent to the concerns of Jewish students just as was his predecessor, now retired. They need to go.

Finally, it is way beyond time to bring in the lawyers. The universities cannot be trusted to police their own house.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Show some love Gary!

By the way, I've become acquainted with a dental student at Marquette University who is not only skilled in his work, but Arab, Muslim, and a Chicago Cubs fan.

Gary Fouse said...

That's what I call assimilation.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I was thinking along the same lines.