Open Letter to President Corrigan · 23 November 2004

By Derek

President Corrigan,

I believe that I speak on behalf of the majority of the members of the College Republicans at San Francisco State University when I express my outrage and condemnation regarding your open letter titled "Free speech is not free rein".

While you may harbor the best of intentions, your account bares little resemblance to the realities of November 1st and 3rd. You openly disagree with the description of the 150-200 students who were verbally and physically threatening us as a mob. If a large group of individuals, uniting to intimidate, harrass, and harm a smaller group of individuals doesn't constitute a mob, I would like to know what does?

The members of our club who were present during these two incidents also take offense to your insinuation that both sides in the dispute were equally culpable. Eyewitness accounts from unbiased observers refute these claims, as does conventional wisdom. Being as how we were standing behind a table, is it not clear that those who made the choice to approach the table while screaming offensive language are at fault for what ensued?

To hold the members of our club equally responsible is akin to jailing the rape victim. On behalf of the San Francisco State University branch of the California College Republicans, we urge you to issue a press release retracting the statements made in your November 12th address, "Free speech is not free rein".

The members of our club would also like to see that those who attempted to deprive us of our freedom of speech by means of intimidation, slander, and vile race-baiting be disciplined. Last, and perhaps most importantly, we want to know what steps are being taken to prevent such occurrences in the future. An academic institution is supposed to be a "marketplace of ideas", where civil discourse serves to improve the education of all students. No one benefits from attending a university where dissent is squashed and students are terrified of expressing their opinions.


Derek Wray
President- College Republicans at San Francisco State University