To Legislative Council of ASUCI and UCI Administration,
We, the Asian Pacific Student Association (APSA) at University of California, Irvine, fully supports the six Legislative Council members (Khaalidah Sidney, Matthew Guevara, John Salazar, Naty Rico, Matthew Tsai, and Negar Fatahi) who voted to remove all flags from the ASUCI office. The resolution was intended to create a more welcoming and inclusive space for students of all nationalities by addressing the effects of U.S. nationalism, of which includes imperialism and other structural injustices that the country was founded upon and that the American flag symbolizes.
The point that we would like to address and denounce is that over the weekend, while these students have been personally targeted and attacked by nationalistic groups and students on- and off-campus, the UCI administration did nothing to protect these students. In fact, Chancellor Howard Gillman himself issued a statement affirming his patriotism and nationalism to the American flag and its democratic values, and additionally indicated that the six Legislative Council students were responsible for tarnishing the university's reputation as a democratic institution.
We as APSA Board condemn Chancellor Gillman’s actions for not only publicly denouncing the six students but also for failing to protect these students from receiving death threats, xenophobic and racist comments, and violent remarks stemming from both student populations and social media. We condemn the UCI administration for ignoring the students' safety in an institution that promises and claims to uphold diversity and democratic values of freedom of speech and expression. We also condemn the UCI administration for prioritizing the University's reputation and public profile over the students' needs and demands to have a safe and inclusive space for students of all identities and nationalities, and to have their voices and opinions heard without fearing severe and violent hate from the community.
APSA strives towards achieving equality throughout diverse and multicultural communities and believe that no student should experience intimidation and spiteful attacks regardless of their voting records. We denounce Chancellor Gillman’s statement and actions that jeopardize these students’ safety and well-being and we fully support Khaalidah Sidney, Matthew Guevara, John Salazar, Naty Rico, Matthew Tsai, and Negar Fatahi unconditionally based on the following demands:
We demand Chancellor Gillman to retract his statement in which he subjects the six students to public harassment and maintains University prestige and reputation over students' concerns and needs
We demand Chancellor Gillman or ASUCI to provide a safe and inclusive space where students of all nationalities can feel welcomed and protected
We demand UCI administration to offer protection to ensure the physical and mental well-being of the six students
The Asian Pacific Student Association Board