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CSU Chancellor, Board Chair Issue Statement Condemning Antisemitism and Islamophobia

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We stand with CSU Chancellor Mildred García and Board of Trustees Chair Wenda Fong in condemning antisemitism and Islamophobia. Cal State Fullerton values and respects the rich diversity of our campus and community as well as the expression of different points of view. Our campus community thrives because we are committed to making space for free thought and speech for all. 

– President Sylvia A. Alva

The following is a joint statement from CSU Chancellor Mildred García and CSU Board of Trustees Chair Wenda Fong:

“The California State University stands unequivocally against hatred and bigotry and is committed to fostering dialogue and inquiry, as well as community, belonging and well-being. This includes a commitment to free thought and speech, including the right for all members of our university communities to protest and demonstrate lawfully. This commitment is sacrosanct even when — or perhaps especially when — many of us find the viewpoints to be repulsive or abhorrent, as long as the activity is lawful and comports with each university’s time, place and manner policies. The expression of differing perspectives and worldviews, as well as earnest, informed and civil debate, is fundamental to the CSU’s mission and core values and to democracy itself. Such expressions indeed are encouraged. 

While the CSU steadfastly and unwaveringly supports the tenets of academic freedom and free speech, we recognize that this support comes with responsibility and accountability. We must — and we will — work to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests. We must — and we will — work to ensure that all individuals within our community have the right and ability to participate, free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation, in all university programs and activities.

The CSU recognizes an additional responsibility. That is to have the courage and conviction to clearly denounce and challenge speech and behavior that reflect bias, hate, bigotry or intolerance or that contain misleading and untruthful assertions. Without challenge, we risk normalizing hateful or untruthful speech as acceptable viewpoints.

Balancing our commitments to academic freedom and free speech and to denouncing hate and untruth is often difficult, and lines of demarcation can be unclear. But the vile and deplorable acts of hatred, antisemitism and Islamophobia occurring on college campuses across the country in response to the ongoing and tragic events in Israel and the Gaza Strip are clearly and entirely antithetical to the CSU’s core values. We condemn them in the strongest terms.

Hate has no place at the CSU.

During this challenging time, we have called upon our 23 universities to be even more vigilant in ensuring the safety of our community. Campus police departments are monitoring protests and threats, while also coordinating with state and federal agencies when needed to prevent unlawful incidents of discriminatory, disruptive or criminal behavior driven by hatred or bigotry. Any such incidents will be immediately and fairly investigated, with individuals found responsible held accountable through student, faculty or staff discipline processes, and the criminal justice system when appropriate. Counseling and other mental and emotional support services continue to be provided to all CSU community members in need of it.

As the nation’s largest and most diverse four-year university system, one that serves America’s new majority, we recognize and embrace our responsibility to stand resolutely and unequivocally against hatred and intolerance, while upholding academic freedom and freedom of expression. We will meet that responsibility.”

About the California State University

The California State University is the nation’s largest four-year public university system, providing transformational opportunities for upward mobility to nearly 460,000 students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. More than half of CSU students are people of color, and nearly one-third of them are first-generation college students. Because the CSU’s 23 universities provide a high-quality education at an incredible value, they are rated among the best in the nation for promoting social mobility in national college rankings from U.S. News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal and Washington Monthly. The CSU powers California and the nation, sending nearly 127,000 career-ready graduates into the workforce each year. In fact, one in every 20 Americans holding a college degree earned it at the CSU. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU newsroom.