The university's proposed one-year suspension of the Muslim Student Union could have a chilling effect on free speech.
"Students across the country are monitoring events at UC Irvine as pro- Israel groups try to reestablish their deterrence capacity on American campuses. After a 4-month-long investigation, UC Irvine's administration last week announced an unprecedented recommendation to suspend for one year the Muslim Student Union (MSU), a registered campus organization, for its alleged involvement in disrupting a Feb. 8 speech by Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Eleven students were arrested and may face criminal charges as well as disciplinary action by the university. A June 17 Times editorial called the recommendation "an apt punishment for what was clearly an inappropriate protest"; on the contrary, the administration's draconian response will unquestionably have a chilling effect on student activism at UC Irvine and across the country......
History will surely absolve the 11 UC Irvine students and condemn those who legitimize war criminals. Today as I write, hundreds of activists across the country and world are preparing for another flotilla to break the illegal siege on Gaza. Similarly, Muslim and non-Muslim students at UC Irvine and nationwide will not be intimidated by McCarthy-era tactics. They will continue to fight for justice and speak truth to power no matter the price they may have to pay."