47 GROUPS TO UC: Regents Principles Against Intolerance Remedy for Increasingly Polarized Campus

 

Contact: Nicole Rosen
202-309-5724
communications@AMCHAinitiative.org

 
Santa Cruz, CA, January 26, 2017 – At a time when hate and intolerance is rising at an alarming rate, AMCHA Initiative Director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin today delivered a letter from 47 education, Jewish and civil rights groups to the University of California Board of Regents calling on UC to implement the Regents’ Principles Against Intolerance as a “relevant, timely and important” remedy for the growing toxicity.

“Many of our 47 organizations have come to you in the past regarding escalating anti-Semitism at the University of California. In the current increasingly polarized climate, however, we are gravely concerned that not only Jewish students, but students of multiple diverse identities and beliefs, are feeling increasingly threatened and unsafe… Now more than ever each UC campus should implement the Regents’ Principles Against Intolerance, to ensure the safety and well being of all members of the campus community,” wrote the groups.

A full copy of the letter, which AMCHA coordinated, can be read below.

Dear UC Regents,

Many of our 47 organizations have come to you in the past regarding escalating anti-Semitism at the University of California. In the current increasingly polarized climate, however, we are gravely concerned that not only Jewish students, but students of multiple diverse identities and beliefs, are feeling increasingly threatened and unsafe.

In recent months, a sharp spike in anti-Semitic activity has been reported nationally, as well as hundreds of acts of hatred and intolerance targeting other historically vulnerable groups, including African Americans, LGBTQ community members, immigrants, women, Muslims and many others. At the same time, we are also witnessing a sharp rise in hateful, intolerant acts directed at individuals holding divergent ideological and political viewpoints.

Intolerance has become a serious and growing problem at UC. On too many campuses, one group’s freedom of expression has been used to denigrate, harass, intimidate and shut down the expression of another group. Debate is veering into hate, and the campus climate is at risk of becoming toxic for a variety of students targeted for actions of intolerance.

We believe the landmark Regents Statement of Principles Against Intolerance, which you adopted last March in the wake of spiking anti-Jewish hostility, couldn’t be more relevant, timely and important not only for Jewish students, but for all UC students. As you rightly point out in the statement:

“Acts of hatred and other intolerant conduct, as well as acts of discrimination that demean our differences, are antithetical to the values of the University and serve to undermine its purpose…Each member of the University community is entitled to speak, to be heard, and to be engaged based on the merits of their views, and unburdened by historical biases, stereotypes and prejudices.”

We applaud UC Irvine Chancellor Gillman for recognizing the value of the Regents’ statement and being the first chancellor to commit his campus to a full implementation of it. We ask that you urge the remaining UC Chancellors to follow Chancellor Gillman’s lead and encourage them to take the following steps on their campuses:

  • Review, update and enforce campus policies and procedures to ensure the protection of all students’ rights to freedom of expression and a campus climate free from harassment, intimidation, denigration and the suppression of speech.

  • Develop educational programs that can help students recognize and avoid intolerant behavior, teach and encourage them to express their diverse views in a productive and respectful manner, and foster a tolerance and appreciation of diverse identities and opinions.



    You advanced an excellent framework for addressing and preventing intolerance last March. Now more than ever each UC campus should implement the Regents’ Principles Against Intolerance, to ensure the safety and well being of all members of the campus community.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Academic Council for Israel
    Accuracy in Academia
    Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)
    Alums for Campus Fairness – National
    Alums for Campus Fairness – UC Davis
    Alums for Campus Fairness – UCLA
    Alums for Campus Fairness – UC Riverside
    AMCHA Initiative
    American Institute for Jewish Research
    American Truth Project
    Americans for Peace and Tolerance
    Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA)
    BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources
    Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law
    Chabad Jewish Student Group at UC Berkeley
    Club Z
    Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)
    Davis Faculty for Israel
    Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)
    Fuel For Truth
    Hillel at UCR
    Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel
    Iranian American Jewish Federation
    Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)
    Israeli-American Coalition for Action
    JAM – Jewish Awareness Movement
    Jerusalem U
    Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)
    National Conference on Jewish Affairs
    National Council of Young Israel
    Proclaiming Justice to the Nations
    Roc4Israel
    Santa Barbara Hillel
    Santa Cruz Hillel
    Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
    Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi
    Simon Wiesenthal Center
    StandWithUs
    Stop BDS on Campus
    Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism
    Students Supporting Israel
    Students Supporting Israel at UC Irvine
    Students Supporting Israel at UC Santa Barbara
    Students Supporting Israel at UCLA
    The Israel Christian Nexus
    The Shofar Project
    Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.)

    AMCHA Initiative is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism at colleges and universities in the United States.