Reprinted from TheFire.org.
Reasonable people disagree about a wide variety of things. But sometimes, people just lie or misrepresent the truth. Sadly, a lot of this is happening over at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and the lies are making it into the press.
The documentation is quite clear on the following points:
1. Student government officials completely denied funding for $2,000 for a David Horowitz event sponsored by the College Republicans, because of opposition to his views and expression. Some of the students stood up for free speech, but they lost to those advocating for “inclusivity.”
3. This second group of student government officials also voted to allocate $1,100 for the event, but only after airing strong denunciations of Horowitz’s views and expression. After the audience erupted in complaints, these student government officials then revisited the question and allocated only $800.
The documentation also is clear on these points:
5. On June 21, UCSB Campus Counsel Nancy Greenan Hamill replied that the student government had “approved the requested $800 for security and the Office of Student Life covered the additional $300 requested …. Accordingly, the College Republicans have received the full amount of their $1,100 request.”
In contrast to Hamill’s statement, however, the College Republicans had requested $1,770 that time. And the College Republicans’ account showed no $800, $300, or $1,100 deposit. (I doubt that Hamill was the one lying here; she probably just accepted whatever lies and misrepresentations other people fed to her, even though the truth was not hard to find.)
It was not until October 6 of this year that UCSB released a document showing that $1,800 had been deposited in the College Republicans’ account from UCSB’s After Dark program, split between money from the UCSB Office of Student Life and the student government (the “Associated Students” or AS). That’s when FIRE finally could confirm the truth, which we announced in a nationwide press release on October 10. UCSB had stepped up to its responsibilities in the wake of the viewpoint discrimination by the AS.
Journalist Bob Egelko then wrote about the case in the San Francisco Chronicle on October 13. Egelko made the error of calling FIRE a “conservative” group, which I immediately pointed out to him. Disappointingly, this false characterization has not been corrected.
Egelko got the rest of the facts right. But today the Chronicle ran a curious “correction” that includes at least two lies, based on zero evidence. The entire “correction” reads:
College Republicans reimbursed; Oct. 13; C5
A story about an appearance by conservative author David Horowitz at UC Santa Barbara misstated the student council’s actions on his $1,800 fee. The council approved all the funding it was authorized to provide, $800, and did not withhold any funding because of the speaker’s viewpoint, as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education alleged. Katya Armistead, assistant dean of students, said the university administration approved on its own the remaining $1,000 from a school security fund.
The first lie here is that the SA was authorized to approve only $800. This idea has no basis in reality. Before the audience eruption, in fact, the SA had already approved $1,100, fully believing it was authorized to do so. Also, the complete denial of funds the first time around is nowhere to be seen in this “correction.”
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