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June 6, 2017 12:44 pm

UC-Irvine Fails to Respond to Hillel Letter Complaining About ‘Unacceptably Slow’ Probe of Student Disruption of IDF Event

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UC Irvine campus. Photo: UC Irvine.

University of California-Irvine (UCI) administrators have not responded to a letter from Hillel International complaining about the “unacceptably slow nature of the investigation” into a student disruption earlier this month of an on-campus event featuring Israeli reservists, a Hillel representative told The Algemeiner on Friday.

In the May 30th letter signed by top Hillel leadership, the administrative response to the incident that ended in a police escort leading program attendees out of the building was said to be “causing great loss of confidence in the process within the Jewish community, particularly since it seems to be a repetition of last year’s process” — a reference to the extreme demonstration led by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in May 2016 during an on-campus screening of a film about the Israeli army, which resulted only in a written warning to the group. That warning expired in March.

SJP was behind this year’s protest as well, which Hillel said “strongly indicate[s] that the slap on the hand they received for last year’s disruption had no impact on SJP’s behavior, and that the likelihood of another incident in the absence of sincere discipline is great.”

“The disrupters also bragged about their intentional disrespect for the UCI Administration’s warning not to disrupt, and asserted their intention to continue to disrupt events whose speakers they oppose, in total disregard of university rules and the free speech rights of others,” Hillel noted, pointing to comments by protesters caught on video.

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Additionally, according to Hillel, “at least three of the disrupters…were identified as members of student government,” behavior that might be in violation of the UCI Senate’s Code of Ethics.

The letter was sent to the UCI chancellor and vice provost.

Representatives from those offices did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner‘s request for comment.

UCI student Kevin Brum — the founder, president and sole member of the university’s Students Supporting Israel, the group that organized the IDF reservists event — said that he was contacted earlier this month by both the Office of Student Conduct and the chief of staff of the vice chancellor to give his statement about what transpired, and was told there was an ongoing investigation.

Brum said he did not expect the administration to release any results of the inquiry until mid-summer, as was the case with the investigation into last year’s incident.

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