Saturday, May 15, 2010

UC-Irvine Chancellor Drake Condemns Statement of Thursday's Speaker

In response to statements made Thursday during Israel Apartheid Week at the University of California, Irvine, UCI Chancellor Michael Drake issued this staement this afternoon:

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: From the Chancellor
From: "Michael V. Drake, Chancellor"
Date: Sat, May 15, 2010 5:30 pm
To: UCI Campus Community:;

"As I often do when events occur that breach our university's
commitment to values and civility, I feel a necessity to speak out.
I'm speaking today of the offensive remarks supporting terrorism made
during the question period following a noontime lecture at the
flagpole on Thursday.

The past week included several speeches, lectures and discussions
providing opposing views on the Middle East conflict, one of the
world's most troubling confrontations. Much of what was said was the
type of discourse on a difficult issue that is the hallmark of an
educational institution committed to an exchange of ideas. Some of
these views are very difficult and offensive to listen to. As is the
case on all campuses, events sponsored by campus organizations and
visitors may feature ideas and opinions that can be starkly different
from ours. But as we know, it is nevertheless incumbent upon us to
protect the freedom of speech of those who visit our campus to express
their views, even when we disagree.

Let me be clear: we condemn the speaker's endorsement of terrorism.
Nothing could be more contrary to our fundamental values and our
commitment to dialogue and democratic rule, not violence. We are an
educational institution that promotes, practices and teaches
tolerance; these remarks supporting terrorism were deplorable.

As a public university our free speech venue is open to a broad range
of views, and we're a stronger campus for doing that. But we will
never allow ourselves to be defined by the outside views of others.
They may speak here, but they don't speak for us."

Chancellor Michael Drake

Fousesquawk comment: Recognizing the right of free speech, this is the type of comment that many, including myself, have been requesting from the university for some time in response to the myriad cases of hateful speech that have occurred on the UCI campus for years.

While I welcome the statement, I wish Chancellor Drake had identified the speaker by name (Amir Abdel Malik Ali), as well as the organization that brought the speaker to campus (the Muslim Student Union) and any other student groups or university entities that may have co-sponsored the event. I say this especially in light of not only the statement by a Muslim Student Association member to David Horowitz at UC San Diego this past week, but the two investigations into the actions of the UCI MSU in the George Galloway fund raiser on May 21, 2009 and the February 8 disruption of the speech by the Israeli ambassador on February 8th.

What is the saying about three strikes?


wejomerv said...

Any word on the investigation that money was raised for HAMAS at a MSU event or has any disciplined down to the disruptive students who repeatedly interrupted the speech by the Israeli Ambassador to the US while he gave a speech at UC Irvine?

Gary Fouse said...


No. No word on those investigations. It appears they will drag on until the students involved graduate.