“Combatting Islamophobia requires recognizing its various manifestations deeply rooted in racism. Promote understanding by acknowledging the distinction between fiction and reality.”
CSU Chancellor Mildred García and CSU Board of Trustees Chair Wenda Fong unequivocally have denounced acts of hatred, antisemitism, and Islamophobia within the California State University system. The leaders emphasized the commitment to fostering dialogue and inquiry while upholding the principles of academic freedom and free speech.
“The California State University stands unequivocally against hatred and bigotry and is committed to fostering dialogue and inquiry, as well as community, belonging, and well-being,” the statement reads. The leaders reiterated the importance of maintaining a commitment to free thought and speech, even when facing viewpoints considered repulsive or abhorrent, as long as activities align with each university’s policies.
While emphasizing their unwavering support for academic freedom and free speech, the CSU leadership stressed the need for responsibility and accountability in ensuring the safety of students, faculty, staff, and guests. They affirmed their dedication to preventing unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in all university programs and activities.
Acknowledging the challenges in balancing commitments to free speech and denouncing hate, the statement called for the courage to challenge speech and behavior reflecting bias, hate, bigotry, or intolerance. The leaders condemned acts of hatred, antisemitism, and Islamophobia occurring on college campuses across the country in response to ongoing events in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
“Hate has no place at CSU,” the leaders asserted, urging the 23 universities in the system to be vigilant in ensuring the safety of the community. Campus police departments are actively monitoring protests and threats, collaborating with state and federal agencies when necessary to prevent unlawful incidents driven by hatred or bigotry.
Any incidents will be promptly and thoroughly investigated, with individuals found responsible held accountable through student, faculty, or staff discipline processes and, when appropriate, the criminal justice system. The statement concluded by affirming the CSU’s commitment to standing against hatred and intolerance while upholding academic freedom and freedom of expression.