Living the Values We Hold Close

Published November 14, 2023

Dear Beach Community: 
Many in our community continue to be affected by the war in the Middle East. 
The deadly terrorist attacks and kidnappings brutally perpetrated by Hamas against Israeli civilians beginning October 7 were unspeakably horrific. Retaliatory actions by the Israeli government have killed Palestinian civilians in great numbers and have prompted a humanitarian crisis. 
The conflict has also surfaced both anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim rhetoric and threats here in the United States, including on the nation's college campuses.  
I encourage you to read a recent statement issued by CSU Chancellor Mildred García and CSU Board of Trustees Chair Wenda Fong, which appears below. The president and chancellors of the University of California also issued a statement worth reviewing.
Here at The Beach, we echo the sentiments of these statements. 
At times, we may deeply disagree. But we must commit to civility and collegiality even as we feel pain and outrage fueled by our own perspectives. And should you believe that you are the victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation because of your faith or other protected identity, you are encouraged to seek support
Even during this most difficult semester, we must remain committed to building and maintaining community. We must stay focused on our tasks of learning, teaching, creating, researching, innovating, and uplifting each other.
Jane Close Conoley, Ph.D.  

"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. This includes a commitment to free thought and speech, including the right for all members of our university communities to protest and demonstrate lawfully. This commitment is sacrosanct even when — or perhaps especially when — many of us find the viewpoints to be repulsive or abhorrent, as long as the activity is lawful and comports with each university's time, place and manner policies. The expression of differing perspectives and worldviews, as well as earnest, informed and civil debate, is fundamental to the CSU's mission and core values and to democracy itself. Such expressions indeed are encouraged. 
While the CSU steadfastly and unwaveringly supports the tenets of academic freedom and free speech, we recognize that this support comes with responsibility and accountability. We must — and we will — work to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests. We must — and we will — work to ensure that all individuals within our community have the right and ability to participate, free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation, in all university programs and activities.
The CSU recognizes an additional responsibility. That is to have the courage and conviction to clearly denounce and challenge speech and behavior that reflect bias, hate, bigotry or intolerance or that contain misleading and untruthful assertions. Without challenge, we risk normalizing hateful or untruthful speech as acceptable viewpoints.
Balancing our commitments to academic freedom and free speech and to denouncing hate and untruth is often difficult, and lines of demarcation can be unclear. But the vile and deplorable acts of hatred, antisemitism and Islamophobia occurring on college campuses across the country in response to the ongoing and tragic events in Israel and the Gaza Strip are clearly and entirely antithetical to the CSU's core values. We condemn them in the strongest terms.
Hate has no place at the CSU.
During this challenging time, we have called upon our 23 universities to be even more vigilant in ensuring the safety of our community. Campus police departments are monitoring protests and threats, while also coordinating with state and federal agencies when needed to prevent unlawful incidents of discriminatory, disruptive or criminal behavior driven by hatred or bigotry. Any such incidents will be immediately and fairly investigated, with individuals found responsible held accountable through student, faculty or staff discipline processes, and the criminal justice system when appropriate. Counseling and other mental and emotional support services continue to be provided to all CSU community members in need of it.
As the nation's largest and most diverse four-year university system, one that serves America's new majority, we recognize and embrace our responsibility to stand resolutely and unequivocally against hatred and intolerance, while upholding academic freedom and freedom of expression. We will meet that responsibility."
Mildred García
CSU Chancellor
Wenda Fong
Chair, CSU Board of Trustees