Investigation of Barkat protest leads to new University protocol
On September 1, SF State released an investigative report of the General Union of Palestinian Students’ protest of the SF Hillel event with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. The report was accompanied by a five-step protocol for the University police and student affairs to handle future protests.
In a letter released by President Wong about the five-step plan, he said there was significant work to be done to improve the campus climate for students.
“Ensuring the campus is a safe environment for all students is my top priority for the coming year,” President Wong said in a letter about the new safety plan.
Following the controversial event in April, President Leslie E. Wong released a statement that there would be an investigation, led by the office of student conduct, into the actions by the protesters at the event.
The report listed lack of preparation on behalf of campus police and student affairs as contributing factors to the event’s disruption. The investigation revealed that the University did not have enough time to prepare for the event, did not have a clear protocol for handling protests, and lacked cohesion between UPD and Student Affairs in handling the situation.
University Police Chief Reginald Parson was at the event, and while out of uniform, attempted to calm protesters, which the report says led to further confusion. Some students from SF Hillel felt unsafe, but the investigation ultimately determined that the protests were directed towards the mayor and not towards fellow students.
The protesters were punished for unauthorized use of amplified sound as a result of the investigation, according to the report.