UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union Suspended for Disruption of Oren Lecture

By June 14, 2010

A few months ago, Adam wrote about an incident at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), during which Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, was repeatedly disrupted by protesters, including members of UCI’s Muslim Student Union. UCI took a firm stand against the protesters’ tactics, and several students faced disciplinary charges following the event.

Following a recently completed investigation, UCI has suspended MSU for an entire year, beginning September 1. Additionally, its members must collectively complete 50 hours of community service.

In finding the MSU members guilty of several violations of UCI’s conduct code, the investigation found that, among other things, "The disruptions were planned, orchestrated and coordinated in advance by the Muslim Student Union." As we wrote earlier, the fact that the disruptions were organized was evident from the video footage of the disruptions. UCI also pointed to e-mail records of an MSU meeting during which the group discussed the various ways it would disrupt the event.

The Orange County Register reports that MSU has appealed the university’s decision, so it remains to be seen whether the recommended sanctions against the group will stand or be altered. Regardless, this episode serves as a reminder that attempting to silence the speech of others may only result in being excluded from the conversation.

Schools: University of California, Irvine