CSUN Students for Israel ask AS to help prevent further discrimination

Tushita Vidhale

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Representatives from the CSUN Students for Israel (CSI) attended the Associated Students (AS) meeting on Monday to call attention to an incident last November in which they say hate speech was used.

The incident occurred in November 2013 when the students noticed words written in chalk on Matador Walk, which they said were anti-Israeli.

Hillel 818, a CSUN Jewish organization, said the writing involved a campus group, Students For Justice in Palestine (SJP) .

Avital Marzini, president of CSI, said the space was supposed to advertise an event.

“The permit (to use chalk on Matador Walk) was used to advertise an event on campus, but they used it to chalk hateful speech on the sidewalks,” Marzini said.

Marzini would not say what was written.

She felt that SJP violated their freedom of speech and asked AS to help prevent future incidents from happening on campus.

“How would you guys feel if you were walking to your class and you see bad writing about your country written on the floor?” she said.

Marzini asked AS to spread awareness of diversity in the CSUN community, and prohibit incidents of hateful speech from happening again in future.

She also said CSI promotes diversity by highlighting future events that involve students identifying as LGBTQ and the work that many of them do in Israel.

“The work we do in Israel is to promote tolerance,” Marzini said.

University adviser Tom Piernik suggested that one possible way to limit chalking would be to only use it for promoting or advertising events and not as a way to practice free speech.

The AS senators thanked Marzini for sharing her concern.

Regarding financial actions, AS allocated $400 to the Student Dietetics & Food Science Association for a Career Symposium. In addition $40,890 will be allocated to the AS Student Leadership program.

AS also approved a fee that would allow Tseng College students to participate in Sports Clubs by paying a fee of $15 per student per semester.