Message from UCI
March 12, 2015 – After further consultation with University Administration, it has been decided that tonight’s Legislative Council will be cancelled due to continued security concerns. The measure of highest importance for the University is the safety and well-being of all students and the campus community at-large.
FROM THE ASUCI EXECUTIVE CABINET AND ASUCI COUNCIL SPEAKER
The statement below is from the ASUCI Executive Cabinet, and the Legislative Council Speaker, the student leaders of ASUCI
March 10, 2015 – AFTER CONSULTATION WITH UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION, WE AGREE WITH THEIR DECISION to cancel THIS EVENING’S LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL DUE TO SECURITY CONCERNS. As of now, the measure of highest importance for ASUCI leadership is the safety and well-being of all students and the campus community at-large.
UCI Legislative Council meeting scheduled for tonight cancelled due to violence threat
The statement below is from the UCI Administration
Irvine, Calif., March 10, 2015 – Earlier today UC Irvine officials received a viable threat of violence associated with the recent controversy over the display of national flags in the lobby of student government offices. The campus is taking this threat seriously. As a result, the administration decided to cancel tonight’s meeting of the student-government Legislative Council. Student government leaders responsible for convening this meeting support this decision.
While the threat was not specific, the UCI Police Department has increased its security presence and alerted the campus, calling for increased vigilance and asking the campus community to report any suspicious activities.
UCI’s student government has been the focus of widespread attention recently, centered on a Legislative Council resolution calling for a ban of all national flags in the lobby of student government offices. The student government’s Executive Cabinet subsequently vetoed the resolution. The meeting this evening was to discuss overriding the veto; this meeting is now canceled due to the security threat.
Chancellor Howard Gillman made the following statement:
“The safety of our campus and its students, faculty and staff is and will always be our absolute, utmost concern. There is no gray area when it comes to threats of violence; they will not be tolerated, and we cannot allow our community to be put at risk. Regardless of your opinion on the display of the American flag, we must be united in protecting the people who make this university a premier institution of higher learning. Our campus must be a place for safe and civil discourse. We continue to call on everyone to condemn all harassment and threats of violence.”
Statement from the ASUCI Executive Cabinet
The statement below is from the ASUCI Executive Cabinet, the student leaders of ASUCI
We the Executive Cabinet of the Associated Students of the University of California, Irvine convened on March 7th, 2015 to officially veto ASUCI Legislative Council legislation R50-70, “Flags and decoration adjustment for inclusivity”. We engage in this action to veto under the constitutional authority granted to us under Article V, Section B, Sub-Section 2 of the ASUCI Constitution stating:
“Vetoing, as seen fit, any measures adopted by the Legislative Council, provided such an action be exercised only once per measure, and within six (6) days from the date of the measure being passed, after which time, the measure shall become legislation with or without the Executive Cabinet’s approval.”
We fundamentally disagree with the actions taken by ASUCI Legislative Council and their passage of R50-70 as counter to the ideals that allow us to operate as an autonomous student government organization with the freedoms of speech and expression associated with it. It is these very symbols that represent our constitutional rights that have allowed for our representative creation and our ability to openly debate all ranges of issues and pay tribute to how those liberties were attained.
As students in an academic institution we encourage all students on campus to participate in open debate about a wide array of issues and to actively engage in academic curiosity, which lies at the backbone of a preeminent academic research institution. It is this freedom to be able to navigate and explore topics on a wide range of issues that we see at risk if we begin to engage in a particular form of regulation of free speech and its expression through symbols in any space associated with our organization.
We as well want to reaffirm our commitment to diversity as a campus in all aspects and ideals associated with it. The concept of inclusion and diversity is a core pillar in the mission of University of California system and we wish to continue to work to have these important discussions of what our campus is doing to make this a priority.
ASUCI Executive Cabinet
March 8, 2015: Statement on ASUCI Actions
The statement below is from Chancellor Howard Gillman
When tens of thousands of young people are brought together and encouraged to explore new ideas, it is inevitable that small numbers of them are, on occasion, going to express views that are unconventional and even outrageous.
A few days ago, on a campus of more than 30,000 students, six of them expressed the view that no flags — not the American flag, and also not the flag of any other nation — should be displayed in a very small interior lobby area of the offices of student government. If these students were acting in a private capacity and expressing personal views then there would be no reason to pay attention. But these six students were acting in an official capacity, as members of a small sub-set of our student government known as Legislative Council, and it was outrageous and indefensible that they would question the appropriateness of displaying the American flag on this great campus.
The administration swiftly, strongly, and publicly denounced the action. Importantly, UCI students also immediately began to express their disappointment and outrage at the actions of these six students. Our elected student body president condemned the action, calling the decision “horrible” and “an attack on American values.” Those news organizations that sought a truthful account of the issue, and that interviewed UCI students, found one student after another saying that the views of these six did not represent the students at UCI.
As a formal expression of the true views of the UCI community, the Executive Cabinet of our student government has now vetoed this resolution, stating that they “fundamentally disagree with the actions taken by the ASUCI Legislative Council” on this issue. I applaud this action and am proud of the members of the Executive Cabinet, as I am proud of the many other students who made sure that their opposition to the original effort was clearly heard on this campus and around the world. Special thanks are owed a member of our outstanding ROTC program, who volunteered to stand guard over the disputed flag while this issue was being resolved.
We are an institution created by the world’s greatest democracy in order to serve this democracy, and we feel privileged to be able to serve the cause of freedom and progress under the American flag. Our ROTC presents its colors at our most important events. Before too long we will see even more Stars and Stripes at UCI, as we add additional flagpoles near the campus entrance on Bison. Make no mistake: the American flag proudly flies throughout the University of California, Irvine, including outside my office window, and will continue to do so.
Chancellor Howard Gillman
Campus statement on flying the American flag
The statement below is from the UCI Administration
Earlier this week, six undergraduate members of the UCI’s student-government Legislative Council passed a bill that bans hanging a flag from any nation in the common lobby area of the student government offices.
This misguided decision was not endorsed or supported in any way by the campus leadership, the University of California, or the broader student body. The views of a handful of students passing a resolution do not represent the opinions of the nearly 30,000 students on this campus, and have no influence on the policies and practices of the university.
The American flag is still proudly flying throughout our campus and will continue to do so.
Student-body president Reza Zomorrodian has publicly opposed the legislation. The Executive Cabinet of the student government will meet today to discuss a veto. A motion to veto and a second are on the table. One more vote is needed for a veto. We encourage the student government to veto this legislation and abandon any further efforts to pursue it.
We hold the value of intellectual inquiry and the free and rigorous exchange of ideas as bedrock values of institutions of higher education. And yet, we are constantly reminded that those values we cherish are in part, guaranteed by the sacrifices made and the struggles waged to secure the freedom and democracy that the flag symbolizes. UCI never takes that for granted.