Message from President Wong: Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Event Cancelled

I regret to inform you that Mayor Barkat has decided to cancel his visit to San Francisco State University, and the event we had scheduled for Thursday April 6 has been cancelled. The Mayor’s staff cited lack of publicity and dissatisfaction with organization of the event as primary reasons.
I know for many of you this will be a disappointment, so I’d like to provide some context. When I extended the invitation for Mayor Barkat to return to campus, I asked for at least three weeks’ notice so the campus could adequately prepare for his visit. We wanted to be more prepared for his visit. This preparation included an array of activities from logistics and security to communication to our varied stakeholders about the event. In my communication to the Mayor’s staff, I reiterated my commitment to hosting a safe event where a respectful dialogue could occur.
Unfortunately, and similar to last year, the notice that Mayor Barkat would be coming to campus came to my office very late. Since his staff’s confirmation of the event on March 29, we have been expeditiously organizing for his arrival, with safety and respectful dialogue as the primary focus of our preparations. The event was scheduled in Seven Hills Conference Center, an on-campus venue central to our residence halls with easy access for the public. We communicated with numerous groups, both on- and off-campus about the event. There were more than 100 confirmed participants, in addition to the many University community members on hand to staff the event.
We looked forward to welcoming Mayor Barkat to San Francisco State University. Given the short notice of his visit, we quickly put together a plan that prioritized the safety of the Mayor and our community while facilitating respectful dialogue. Certainly, our plan was not perfect, but it was the best we could do given the time available to prepare and our need to prioritize the well-being of all our guests. My invitation was sincere.
Les Wong