Saturday, October 2, 2010

UC Irvine "Is it true?" Department

Gary Fouse

"One person's hate speech is another person's education"

Last week, the fall quarter began at the University of California-Irvine, and as anyone who follows this blog knows, the Muslim Student Union has begun serving a one-quarter suspension as a result of their disruption of the Israeli ambassador's speech at UCI on February 8, 2010. The original suspension was for one year, as decided by a UCI housing official, Lisa Cornish. Her decision was reduced to one quarter by retiring Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez on his last day in office. Yet, eyebrows were raised recently by the fact that the MSU/UCI website was advertising an October 16 orientation event (since removed). What was that all about if they were suspended in October?

So guess what? Goodbye MSU-Hello Alkalima!

Yes, there is a new organization on campus this fall. Alkalima, which is also the name of the MSU's quarterly publication, is now on the UCI campus. Whether they will be there the following quarter is open to question. Last week, they had a booth on campus during the first week's orientation event. If you go to the MSU/UCI website and click the link to "Register here for College Day 2010", you will be transferred to Alkalima-Muslim Students at UCI-with lots of stuff being announced.

Here is the wording from Ms Cornish's letter to the MSU in May 2010 announcing the suspension decision (subject to appeal)

iii "No current executive officer listed on the Dean of Students registration application form will be allowed to act as an authorized signee for any other student organization at UC Irvine during the period of suspension."

The issue of starting another organization is not addressed in the final decision.

Now I would never insinuate that Alkalima is just a cover for the Muslim Student Union under another name until the suspension runs out in 10 weeks. However, I would like to ask a few questions.

Just questions.

Were there meetings and negotiations between the MSU attorney(s) and Mr Gomez during the appeal process between May and August 2010?

Just a question.

Did those meetings involve a settlement as to the final punishment of MSU whereby the MSU would not file a lawsuit against the university?

Just a question.

Has UCI, in effect, given a tacit "wink wink, nod nod" ok for the MSU to operate under a different name during the fall quarter?

Just a question.

Is Alkalima receiving UCI funding this quarter?

Just a question.

Of course, it is hard to deny a religious group permission to organize on campus for joint religious support and purposes. However, can we expect a political event to be held by Alkalima this quarter, say, for example, if the Viva Palestina convoy (currently in progress) ends in another violent incident in the Middle East?

Just a question.

Will there be a campus group named Alkalima during the winter quarter, when the MSU is back in operation?

Just a question.

Has the MSU made UCI look silly?

Just a question.

No comments:

Post a Comment