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SF State: Stop Punishing Organizers of a Know Your Rights Fair for Standing up to Hillel’s Bullying

Council on American Islamic Relations

Tell SF State To Drop The Sanctions 

San Francisco State University (SF State) is on the brink of punishing two students for not inviting Hillel to table at their February 2017 Know Your Rights Fair. After 16 months of investigations and appeals, SF State cannot identify what policies the students are responsible for violating. Nonetheless, SF State is forcing them to agree to serious sanctions, or face a new round of hearings.

Background:

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, SF State students and staff planned a Know Your Rights Fair to equip students to protect themselves from the threatening political environment. They invited community and campus organizations aligned with the mission of the fair to book tables. Though Hillel was not invited, they demanded a table, and the organizers refused. Hillel filed a complaint accusing the organizers of religious discrimination, which the university determined to be baseless. But SF State decided instead to blame the organizers for “retaliation” and “viewpoint discrimination,” a vague policy that does not even apply to students.

Students appealed the decision. The appeals office confirmed that there was no religious discrimination. For the remaining charges of retaliation and viewpoint discrimination, the appeals office asked SF State to make findings of individual responsibility. One student was cleared of all individual responsibility. Another student was cleared of retaliation but found to be motivated by improper viewpoint discrimination. The appeals office did not examine the viewpoint finding, but directed SF State to give the student an opportunity to challenge this finding. Instead, these two students were both told that they had violated school policies and that the findings were final.

Though SF State refuses to explain what they have done wrong, the school is pressuring them to agree to months of disciplinary probation, community service, and condescending educational assignments. To make matters worse, the same administrator trying to punish the students was named in a lawsuit filed against SF State for allowing pro-Palestine advocacy on campus. After being dropped from the lawsuit, she is now making an example of these students, punishing them for standing up against Hillel’s anti-Palestinian bullying.

SF State: Stop Punishing Organizers of a Know Your Rights Fair for Standing up to Hillel’s Bullying

Council on American Islamic Relations

Tell SF State To Drop The Sanctions 

San Francisco State University (SF State) is on the brink of punishing two students for not inviting Hillel to table at their February 2017 Know Your Rights Fair. After 16 months of investigations and appeals, SF State cannot identify what policies the students are responsible for violating. Nonetheless, SF State is forcing them to agree to serious sanctions, or face a new round of hearings.

Background:

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, SF State students and staff planned a Know Your Rights Fair to equip students to protect themselves from the threatening political environment. They invited community and campus organizations aligned with the mission of the fair to book tables. Though Hillel was not invited, they demanded a table, and the organizers refused. Hillel filed a complaint accusing the organizers of religious discrimination, which the university determined to be baseless. But SF State decided instead to blame the organizers for “retaliation” and “viewpoint discrimination,” a vague policy that does not even apply to students.

Students appealed the decision. The appeals office confirmed that there was no religious discrimination. For the remaining charges of retaliation and viewpoint discrimination, the appeals office asked SF State to make findings of individual responsibility. One student was cleared of all individual responsibility. Another student was cleared of retaliation but found to be motivated by improper viewpoint discrimination. The appeals office did not examine the viewpoint finding, but directed SF State to give the student an opportunity to challenge this finding. Instead, these two students were both told that they had violated school policies and that the findings were final.

Though SF State refuses to explain what they have done wrong, the school is pressuring them to agree to months of disciplinary probation, community service, and condescending educational assignments. To make matters worse, the same administrator trying to punish the students was named in a lawsuit filed against SF State for allowing pro-Palestine advocacy on campus. After being dropped from the lawsuit, she is now making an example of these students, punishing them for standing up against Hillel’s anti-Palestinian bullying.