In California, a great debate was brought forth by Islamic Students. They feel wronged because they vocally and vehemently protested a speaker at their University of California – Irvine campus. They were commanded to desist and depart; they did. They were punished by their University’s disciplinary system in so far as the comportment of student organizations is concerned. The organization was sanctioned and then re-instated with probationary privileges. The District Attorney in Irvine California will prosecute the students involved for organizing an attempt to squelch the speaker, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. The actual charges are “Conspiracy to disturb a meeting and Disturbance of a meeting”; both are misdemeanors.
Faculty members of UC-Irvine signed petitions saying the students were punished enough by the University. They feel because University rules were acted upon, disciplinary action on a University level was exacted against the students and they were suspended from organizing for entire school academic quarter there should be NO more accountability exacted for their actions.
They state: “The use of the criminal justice system will be detrimental to our campus as it inherently will be divisive and risk undoing the healing process which has occurred over the last year,” the letter reads. “It also sets a dangerous precedent for the use of the criminal law against non-violent protests on campus.”
Logic is a course taught in most-all colleges and universities. Unfortunately, concepts of logic vary from school of thought to school of thought. By definition(s) logic is: logic is a method of human thought that involves thinking in a linear, step-by-step manner about how a problem can be solved. Logic is the basis of many principles including the scientific method. It’s the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration in Philosophy. They all differ.
This is where it gets confusing because the faculty makes a leap taken by so many educators believing their elevated educations superior under all circumstances to the elevated educations of others simply because they say it’s so.
#1. It is illogical to believe because the protest took place on a school campus the school becomes a separate and sovereign state, responsible to no greater authority than the school’s Policy, Procedure and Disciplinary Manuals. Then, they assume the Criminal Justice System in assuming its natural and commanded legal oversight over criminal activity is inherently divisive and claims extra-territorial jurisprudence apart from the rest of the State of California and the United States as a whole is in error.
#2. UC-Irvine is a public university accepting state and federal tax dollars used for the operation of the school, the payment of faculty salaries and the maintenance of the physical plants on campus. Every person in that auditorium had the Constitutional Right and the state’s surety they could partake in the discussion advertised to take place. Each person prevented from partaking of and executing their rights was essentially robbed of those Constitutional Rights and Protections by the alleged actions of the students. This would place them in the realm of Civil Rights violations as they are accused of having disrupted the meeting with the intent to shut it down.
This should be decided in court. Matters of this sort are not normally decided by law professors looking to grind their particular political axes. If the faculties’ logic is followed, we can disband and disbar all lawyers and the courts and simple ask the Dean of Discipline at a local school to rule over ALL civil/criminal disagreements. But, it seems the people in attendance are being removed from their right to legal parity and redress of grievances for actions against their Civil Rights if they must accept what a school deems fit for them rather than a court of law.
As for: “…use of the criminal justice system will be detrimental to our campus…” and “sets a dangerous precedent for the use of the criminal law against non-violent protests on campus“; it appears simple: this matter involved a violation of codified criminal statute. This matter needs to be addressed in court so ALL affected persons receive THEIR day in court for injury suffered by others until now having NO voice in this matter. NO campus is free of the protections of criminal and civil law. No organization can conspire to violate another’s First Amendment Right.
Remember: Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen.
George Savile Halifax, Lord (1633-95), English statesman, author. Political, Moral, and Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections, “Of Punishment” (1750).
This should prove the silent warning of all law, in that while those that love you may forgive, those you injure are still entitled to justice.
Thanks for listening.