The suspension of the Muslim Student Union due to a series of events including the disruption of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech in February was decided by university officials this past July.
According to Student Affairs, the organization’s original year-long ban was reduced to one quarter and 100 hours of community service prior to reinstatement of the organization on campus. MSU will also be on group probation for two years thereafter.
In a recent Los Angeles Times article, a lengthy set of e-mails meant to prove that MSU was behind the disruption of the speech was used as evidence in the initial investigation conducted by the University.
Use of the e-mails for more extensive investigation would mean punishment for the group as a whole, but Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Manuel Gomez is focusing mostly on the participation of individual members of the organization rather than the entire club as one entity.
Gomez mentioned that the group has maintained it did not organize the protest, though. several of its officers and members participated in the protest in which Oren was interrupted multiple times during his speech.
Former Anteaters for Israel president Isaac Yerushalmi expressed that it is a difficult situation in which the main problem lies in the fact that the group wanted to protest a speaker that another group wanted to host.
In response to the issue of a whole group being punished for the faults of a few people within that group, Yerushalmi stated that we cannot forget the collective responsibility that comes with being an organization on campus.
Executive Vice President of ASUCI Andres F. Gonzalez recently issued a statement in regards to the newly-cited MSU suspension.
“It is certain that students don’t need to feel limited, they just need to be wary of the policies the university imposes,” Gonzalez’s statement read.
In addition, Gonzalez encouraged students to work together to create movements around worthy causes.
“Student movements are built through sincere consensus and not division,” Gonzalez said.
Yerushalmi also commented on the effect MSU’s suspension creates concerning the media outside of UC Irvine. He argues the portrayal of UCI in the mainstream media is now one of chaos and political unrest in an environment that should be dedicated to education.
Amidst all of the campus-wide frenzy and national attention, Gonzalez set a reminder.
“As a representative of the students, I want to encourage students to come talk to me about their issues and concerns,” Gonzalez said. “My service is to the students, and I will mobilize around student issues throughout the year,” he said in the statement.
The MSU President and former President were not available for comment.