Threats of violence directed at students forced UC Irvine administrators to cancel a Tuesday night student meeting to discuss the transient decision to remove the American flag from the lobby of the student government’s building.
The decision to introduce legislation to remove Old Glory was made to avoid hurting the feelings of illegals and students with citizenship issues at the school. Among reasons stated in the resolution penned by students was that it “has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism.”
School Chancellor Howard Gillman issued a written statement about the matter, which was largely supported by student government leaders, according to the Los Angeles Times: “The safety of our campus and its students, faculty and staff is and will always be our absolute, utmost concern. There is no gray area when it comes to threats of violence; they will not be tolerated, and we cannot allow our community to be put at risk.”
On Monday, Republican state lawmakers proposed an amendment to the state constitution, which would prohibit California’s publicly funded colleges and universities from removing the American flag. Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Santa Ana) is heading the legislation.
Chancellor Gillman also condemned the threats, and university police have reportedly increased their presence on campus:
Regardless of your opinion on the display of the American flag, we must be united in protecting the people who make this university a premier institution of higher learning. Our campus must be a place for safe and civil discourse. We continue to call on everyone to condemn all harassment and threats of violence.
The American flag ban was vetoed on Saturday with a 4-1 vote.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.