Tabitha Korol
June 16, 2013
Cal-i-for-nia, there it goes -- follow-up
By Tabitha Korol

Dear Friends and Readers:

Pursuant to my essay, "Cal-i-for-nia, there it goes," which I'd originally sent as a letter to President Mark Yudof, the Regents and Chancellors of the University of California, I received the following explanation of their actions on behalf of the Jewish and all students. While this certainly sounds admirable, this is not the first time this university has been called to task for its failure to provide a safe learning environment. If the "innumerable steps and great pains" have not worked over these several years, it may be that this is the ideal example of Albert Einstein's definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The expectation of stopping the abusive, violent students – bullies – without a considerable consequence is foolhardy. They must be incentivized or threatened with being ousted from the school for at least the balance of the term. Admission and attendance must be considered a privilege to be revoked when these thugs fail to meet proper standards of behavior. If they are not expelled, they consider it their victory and are emboldened to increase in strength and number of attacks. We see this pattern in every Islamic country in the world and in the countries where the original inhabitants are losing the grip on their homeland because they are fearful of meeting the challenge. The fear that undoubtedly exists for the school's administration today will pale in comparison to the fear that will come when the school is completely Islamized and the poison spreads out to the rest of our land.

For those of you who are inspired to express your opinions to President Yudof, you may do so with this email address: http://www.ucop.edu/president/

Thank you,
Tabitha Korol



Thank you for your email expressing various concerns about Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer on our Santa Cruz campus. The Regents, the Chancellors, and I have received numerous messages regarding Ms. Rossman-Benjamin's letter of May 8 to me, so as I hope you will understand, I am sending this same response to all. Please be assured, however, that I have read each of your messages.

I attach, for your information, a copy of a letter that University of California Vice President Judy Sakaki has sent to Ms. Rossman-Benjamin in response to her letter to me. As I hope you will understand, I have nothing further to add to what Vice President Sakaki has said. I would, however, like to take a moment to discuss campus climate at the University of California, which many of you have written about in your messages to me.

It saddens and distresses me that after five years of intensive efforts, the public perception remains, and in some instances is being perpetuated, that the University of California has done nothing for its Jewish students and that it is an unwelcoming environment for those students. The truth of the matter is that over the course of my tenure as President, the University has taken innumerable steps and great pains to ensure the safety of not only our Jewish students, but all our students. Thus I can assure you in the strongest terms possible that we have done and are doing all we can to combat abusive behavior and bigotry on our campuses. I believe you will find of interest a webpage my office has posted online where we have outlined our actions on campus climate concerns with respect to the Jewish community. It can be found at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/26327. I draw your attention in particular to the resources section and the timeline.

This is not to say that there is, at times, great concern in our community about acts of intolerance toward Jewish students on UC campuses. And I want to be very clear. I am extremely sympathetic to these concerns. I find it very disturbing that in the forty years I have served four universities, acts of intolerance, and intolerant speech, towards Jewish students continue to take place. This is a matter of deep, personal importance to me. At every turn, either I or our Chancellors – and in some cases, both – have condemned, what I refer to as bad speech when it occurs in our community. And we will continue to do so. We are also undertaking many other steps to ensure a climate of respect and tolerance on our campuses, for all members of our university community.

I issued an Open Letter to the UC Community that addressed incidents of intolerance and reiterated the need for climate of civility and open-mindedness that you may find of some interest. It can be accessed at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/27279.

We have also instituted a campus climate reporting system, which includes both

an online system and an 800 number, and have revised our student code of conduct by strengthening prohibitions on any conduct deemed threatening or motivated by bias (including religious bias).

We have completed a groundbreaking, systemwide campus climate study – the first in UC's history. Part of this study involved working with the Museum of Tolerance and the Anti-Defamation League to improve our campus climate. And it has included undertaking fact-finding tours of the Jewish student experience, which were led by Rick Barton of the ADL and Alice Huffman of the NAACP. Information about the final report can be found at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/documents/campus_climate_jewish.pdf.

You may also be interested to learn that we have refused to recommend or implement University divestment from the State of Israel.

We maintain a wide variety of programs and activities dedicated to the Jewish experience on all ten of our campuses. Based on my own experience, I believe that exposure to the Jewish narrative and an understanding of the role a Jewish homeland plays in that narrative benefits everyone in the University of California community. That belief is also shared by various UC Chancellors and administrators who have taken part in the American Jewish Committee's educational institute, Project Interchange, which brings opinion leaders and policy makers to Israel for a week of intensive travel and learning in order to gain a perspective on the Israeli experience.

I am also attaching for your information a copy of a speech I gave to the American Jewish Committee (AJC) last year that you may find of interest.

In closing, as I have said repeatedly for the last five years, please be assured that the Chancellors of the University's ten campuses and I are doing all that we can to protect all our students. I have and will continue to be among the first to speak out against abusive behavior. I have and will continue to respond to hateful incidents with appropriate action. And I have and will continue to do everything in my power to protect Jewish and all other students from threats or actions of intolerance.

With best wishes, I am,

Sincerely yours,

Mark G. Yudof
President

Attachments

JKSakaki-Rossman-Benjamin Ltr 6-6-13.pdf

ajc 5-22-12.pdf

© Tabitha Korol

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Tabitha Korol

Tabitha Korol began her political writing letters to the editor after her retirement, and earned an award from CAMERA (Committee on Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) "in recognition of outstanding letter-writing in 2009 to promote fair and factual reporting about Israel." She was cited as one of America's modern-day, articulate, patriotic women in Frederick William Dame's Three American Fur Hat Fighters for Freedom.

Her essays appear on Arutz Sheva, Conservative News and Views, Dr. Swier, Grumpy Opinions, IsraelNewsTalkRadio, Israel's Voice, Jewish Press, JewishVoiceNY, New Media Journal, RenewAmerica, Tea Party Express, WebCommentary, Western Free Press and others. She revised David Silberman's book of Holocaust survivors' accounts for publication, and proofreads/edits for a monthly city newsletter.

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Tabitha Korol: Click here

More by this author