SDSU president has car blocked after supporting free expression
- President Hirshman failed to sufficiently denounce posters that had been created by the David Horowitz Center for Freedom.
- Instead, Hirshman wrote that he and his office "strongly endorse" SDSU's protections surrounding free expression.
San Diego State University President Elliot Hirshman had his car blocked Wednesday evening by students upset over his response to posters put up by a conservative group that named specific Muslim students terrorist sympathizers.
The posters were produced by the David Horowitz Center for Freedom and state that the students and faculty listed “have allied themselves with Palestinian terrorists to perpetrate BDS and Jew Hatred on this campus.”
In an email to the campus, Hirshman stated that he and his office, “strongly endorse our university policies protecting freedom of expression,” and that, “we raise these issues to strengthen our tradition of vibrant discourse about ideas and issues and encourage all member of our community to participate in these discussions.”
Protesters claim that President Hirshman’s letter did not go far enough by failing to condemn the posters and have called for additional support from the faculty and administration.
After swearing in the new Associated Students President, Hirshman left the student government’s council chambers as the protesters arrived. The protesters received word that he was getting into a police cruiser by the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater and moved the protest in that direction.
After two hours of the protesters surrounding his vehicle and chanting at him, Hirshman finally emerged to speak with them.
“We have done things, inadvertently, that have upset or hurt people, and we are sorry for that,” Hirshman said.
“I think they are taking advantage of how politically correct the country, the youth and more specifically millennials in higher education are becoming,” student Ian Benisti told Campus Reform.
“Free speech is a right and people should be able to express their opinions. The President of the university didn’t take sides, he just didn’t condemn the actions of individuals who used their First Amendment rights,” said another student.
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