UCI puts goodwill foot forward

Acceptance rally and anti-Semitism events planned; chancellor also scheduled to speak at town hall.

May 30, 2007|By Michael Miller

Two events centered around tolerance and nonviolence are scheduled for today at UC Irvine, a campus that has come under scrutiny in recent years for political activism and conflict between student groups.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Michael Drake plans to speak in the evening about allegations of campus anti-Semitism at a town hall meeting in Irvine.

At noon, the Academic Senate plans to hold "Stand Together for Tolerance," a rally to encourage acceptance of different religions. The public is invited to the free event, expected to be held in Aldrich Park, behind the Langson Library.


Tonight at 7 p.m., the College Republicans have scheduled a visit at the Bren Events Center with three former terrorists — Walid Shoebat, Zak Anani and Kamal Saleem — who have dedicated their lives to speaking against militant Islam and anti-Semitism.

Drake's speech is scheduled for the same time at Congregation Shir Ha-Ma'alot, 3652 Michelson Drive in Irvine.

UCI is undergoing investigations by the federal government and the Hillel Foundation of Orange County, both of which are checking allegations of anti-Semitism on the campus.

The Muslim Student Union's annual week of political seminars, this year called "Israel: Apartheid Resurrected," and a recent campus appearance by former President Jimmy Carter both drew the wrath of a number of students who called them biased against Israel and American foreign policy.

Even still, UCI spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon said it was a coincidence that the three tolerance-themed events were scheduled for the same day.

"If it sends a strong message that this campus is a place where free discourse of ideas is allowed, and that we respect diverse belief systems, then that's a good thing," she said.

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