Message from President Wong: Civil Discourse
Dear SF State community,
I am concerned for the state of civil discourse on our campus. There have been a number of events this academic year which have caused me to think extensively about our values and our mission.
Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem was invited to speak yesterday on campus by SF Hillel, a student organization. The Mayor’s talk, held at Seven Hills, was disrupted by a small but loud group of protesters. Members of our community who attended the event were deprived of an opportunity to hear from the Mayor.
As an inclusive academic institution, we strive to make San Francisco State University a welcoming environment for all. Students are encouraged to engage in thoughtful and respectful dialogue about difficult or controversial issues and, at the same time, to respect the rights of others to do the same. While there is a right to dissent, we must also uphold the right to speak and to learn.
The Dean of Students and University Police will perform a full investigation of this incident to determine if any violations of campus policy occurred. In addition, I am committed to examining the university’s planning and response mechanisms to better ensure that student events of this nature can occur unimpeded in the future.
We must come together as a campus to foster a supportive and collegial environment in which disagreements can occur thoughtfully and respectfully. We must strive to live our values — and to be a safe place where all the members of our community are free to listen and to learn.
I would appreciate your support in promoting this core value so the entire SF State community can feel welcome and safe to engage in the free exchange of ideas and views that is essential to our campus.
San Francisco State University