The University of California, Irvine yesterday came to the conclusion that, despite clear violations of the university’s code of conduct, the campus group Students For Justice In Palestine was only issued a written warning for disrupting an event held by the Students Supporting Israel society.
In contrast, UCI’s College Republicans were initially struck with a $1500 fine and immediate suspension for “working with an outside organisation” to host Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
In May of this year, the SSI held a screening of the film “Beneath the Helmet” for its members, a documentary about Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Two former members of the IDF attended the movie as well, planning on meeting some of the attendees. However, members of SFJP caught wind of the event and planned a protest. Captured on video by Ariana Rowlands, President of the College Republicans at UCI, the protesters can be seen chanting such things as “intifada, intifada, long live the intifada” and “fuck the police.”
Rowlands told Campus Reform that the police arrived to keep order between the protesters and the SSI, but only after one SSI member was allegedly chased from the cinema and forced to hide in another building. After the film had concluded, officers escorted people away from the event “for their own safety.”
In an email sent to all staff and students at UCI the next day, Chancellor Howard Gillman addressed the issue:
“Last night, an incident occurred on campus that we believe crossed the line of civility, prompting me to re-emphasize our position on free speech, safety, and mutual respect. The incident centered on a film-viewing event sponsored by Students Supporting Israel. A group of protesters reportedly disrupted the event, blocking exit paths. Participants feared for their safety, calling on our police for assistance… we are thoroughly analyzing all reports and information regarding this incident and investigating whether disciplinary or legal actions are appropriate.”
However, the email sent out on Thursday by Thomas Parham, UCI Vice Chancellor, that revealed the results of the investigation, contained a shocking decision on behalf of the faculty. Despite the investigators finding that SFJP “violated Student Conduct Policies regarding disruption,” the only punishment was a written warning and the requirement for the group to host an “educational program.”
This is a clear contrast to the punishment received by CRUCI after the Milo event, who, whilst breaking no rules, were suspended and their booking rights removed, along with a fine for $1500. After coverage by Breitbart News, this initial decision was reversed, resulting in the suspension being removed and the fine reduced to $75o.
Not only is this a clear sign of bias within the faculty, but in fact breaks their own rules regarding punishment. Code of Conduct violations are a Level 3 infraction, of which first time violations must result in the “immediate suspension of booking privileges for the remainder of the current quarter and the following three quarters, including summer.”
Rowlands spoke to Breitbart News shortly after she had received Parham’s email. “UC Irvine’s cowardly written warning sanction of Students for Justice in Palestine likens inciting violence against Jewish students and assaulting Jewish students on campus to College Republicans’ hosting a gay conservative, Milo Yiannopoulos on campus,” Rowlands said.
“I was there at the protest in May and heard the protestors screaming to abolish the “racist pigs” police department, to “kill all white people” and chanting “long live the Intifada.” It appears UC Irvine creates and enables an environment that is hostile to gays, conservatives and Jewish people.”
Rowlands continued, arguing that “it is absolutely outrageous that SFJP and College Republicans received the same administrative punishment when there was no due process for College Republicans’ ban that was unjustly labeled a Level 3 infraction and later rescinded, while an entire police investigation into SFJP’s protest concluded that student conduct had been violated by the organization – something that explicitly warrants a level 3 infraction and immediate suspension of the organization. UC Irvine coddles and bends the rules to protect the students with political philosophies similar to their own at the detriment of those who they disagree with.”
Jack Hadfield is a student at the University of Warwick and a regular contributor to Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @ToryBastard_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.