CAL POLY STUDENTS: No Funding Increase for Pro-Israel Clubs
60 Education and Civil Rights Groups Demand Immediate Action
Contact: Nicole Rosen
Santa Cruz, CA, May 3 – The Drylongso Collective, a group that consists of numerous Cal Poly student organizations, demanded “an increase in ASI funding for ALL cultural clubs, with the exception of organizations that are aligned with Zionist ideology.” Today, 60 education and civil rights organizations urged Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong to take immediate and long-term steps to address this blatant bigotry.
“Demanding that only Zionist groups be excluded from a request for an increase in student government funding is both hateful and discriminatory, and its implementation at a state university would be a violation of the legal obligation to allocate funds in a viewpoint neutral way,” wrote the groups in the letter coordinated by AMCHA Initiative. “In addition, the implications of this statement for the safety and well-being of Jewish and pro-Israel students on your campus are highly troubling.”
Studies demonstrate that on campuses where anti-Zionist activity is found, Jewish and pro-Israel students are three times more likely to be targeted for harm. At schools with active anti-Zionist student groups, these acts of aggression are seven to eight times more likely to occur.
“The anti-Zionist sentiment that lies at the heart of these student group’s statement grows out of an ideology whose primary goal on campus is the suppression of any and all pro-Israel expression. On many college campuses, anti-Zionist sentiment translates into actions that target Jewish and pro-Israel students for harm, including the shutting down or disrupting of pro-Israel events; the vilification and harassment of Jewish and pro-Israel students in order to delegitimize their Zionist perspective or cause them to be too afraid or uncomfortable to express it; and the malevolent manipulation of student government procedure in order to eliminate pro-Israel voices.”
The groups urged Armstrong to implement campus-wide policies that address all exclusionary behavior in an equitable manner; educate about the rights of all students to express a wide range of opinions, views and identities; and ensure students have access to an education and campus free from discrimination. Specifically, the groups recommend Armstrong:
- Review, update and enforce campus policies and procedures to guarantee that all members of the campus community, irrespective of their opinions, beliefs or identity, are equitably and adequately protected from intolerant behavior that infringes on freedom of expression and denies equal rights.
- Ensure that prompt and appropriate disciplinary measures are taken when any individual or group engages in behavior that suppresses the freedom of expression or civil rights of others.
- Develop protocols for vetting the establishment and yearly renewal of university-approved student groups, to determine whether a specific campus group has engaged in the unlawful suppression of others’ freedom of speech or civil rights. Any whose members have repeatedly engaged in such behavior should be appropriately disciplined as per school procedures should the group fail to modify conduct that intentionally harms others on campus.
- Develop educational and training programs to:
• Help members of the campus community recognize and avoid intolerant behavior that suppresses others’ freedom of expression or denies them equal rights, and be aware of all campus policies and procedures regarding such behavior; and
•Teach and encourage the expression of a wide range of views in a productive and respectful manner.
- Issue a campus-wide statement assuring all students will be equally protected from peer-on-peer harassment that violates their rights to freedom of expression and full participation in campus life.
AMCHA monitors more than 400 college campuses across the U.S. for anti-Semitic activity. Campus anti-Semitism increased 40% and genocidal expression doubled in 2016, according to AMCHA’s most recent annual study. The organization recorded 652 known anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, and 275 so far in 2018. Its daily anti-Semitism tracker, organized by state and university, can be viewed here.