SDSU Professor Strikes Back Over Anti-Illegal Immigration E-mails
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Hurlbert’s email asks any San Diego Minutemen who feel like writing letters to SDSU administrators regarding their “selective application of vague regulations” to please do so. The email reminds Minutemen that using polite language and adding their full name and address will add weight to their letter.
University officials ordered Hurlbert last week to stop using his campus email to conduct extensive personal business and political organizing. The University says using campus computers for anything other than occasional personal use violates state law and University policy. Hurlbert says he’s being persecuted for his personal beliefs.
Over the weekend, Hurlbert also wrote a letter to SDSU officials saying he may consider legal action if the University terminates his email account. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.
Email from San Diego Minutemen Leader Jeff Schwilk:
OK, so one of illegal-loving spies on my list reading this right now, took one of Stu's emails that I forwarded and went whining and crying to the faculty at SDSU. Just shows what a bunch of crybabies you are.
Grow up! This is why the vast majority of Americans have no respect for you and your bleeding heart causes. You are nothing but punks who are so afraid of the big bad Minutemen, and so desperate to try to stop us and all of our successes, that you will use any despicable tactic you can try to slow us down. As with everything else you've tried the past 12 months, this will not work either. You just make yourselves look even more silly.
Keep it up. It just drives us harder to defeat you and send every
illegal alien back to their home country.
We win, you lose. Now stop crying! You don't like it, move south of the border. They will eat your testicles (if you have any) for lunch!
Way to go Stu! Tell those commie SDSU administrators to pound sand!
And hey Union Tribune, get a life!
Letter from Stuart Hurlbert:
Sat, 14 Oct 2006
Dr. Bonnie Zimmerman
Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs
San Diego State University
Dear Professor Zimmerman:
I have received your letter (below). It was a surprise, indeed, that you had made it available to the news media before you made it available to me. Most of our colleagues would consider that unethical and unprofessional behavior.
I also am puzzled by the fact that all of the news media people who have contacted me have said that your letter was inspired by some document or piece of correspondence concerning Minuteman, yet your letter makes no reference to any such document. What is the document at issue and who told the media about it? If you told the media about it, why did you not tell me about it?
I urge you to retract your threat immediately. You should not be giving the general public the impression that SDSU aims to be a west coast version of Columbia University.
You know perfectly well that it is absolutely routine for virtually all SDSU administrators and faculty to use university email addresses and computers for all sorts of communications that are not "University-related business."
These would include correspondence with friends, family, and all manner of organizations - professional, political, environmental, fraternal, military, religious, charitable, and you name it. I support this freedom of use, as I'm sure do most SDSU faculty members.
Also, within the walls of the university, we have plenty of internal communications that use "University resources" and that have nothing to do with "University-related business." Here is a sampling off the top of my head:
- faculty members broadcasting requests for contributions to their favorite charity
- leaders of the faculty union (CFA) discussing and strategizing about how the union can help defeat Schwarzenegger and get particular propositions passed or killed
- faculty members in business and engineering carrying out consulting work using university email and computers
- a university-sponsored website featuring El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan, a racist, separatist rant that is the guiding light for MEChA
- faculty members and students using university email to engage in and help organize political activities of the Green Party, Young Republicans, NAACP, Audubon Society, MALDEF, ACLU, NOW, Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood, Union of Concerned Scientists, MoveOn.org, PETA, etc., etc., etc.
Here, too, I support such freedom of communication via university email, even if the SDSU administration would close all this down if it could find enough anonymous snitches to turn in the multitudinous miscreants.
Here's a more egregious example.
Some months ago SDSU Vice President Jim Kitchen broadcast an email invitation to thousands of SDSU faculty and staff members encouraging them to participate in the San Diego gay pride parade (I think it has a longer name that I don't recall at the moment). I informed SDSU President Steve Weber that I thought that it was inappropriate for the university to be officially endorsing political events (however dressed up with comedy and goodtimes music) of any sort. He said that once again he and I would have to agree to disagree, and that he had indeed authorized the Vice President's email invitation.
I understand from some media people that a university spokesman now claims that was not a political event but rather a "SDSU event" because it was an official parade sponsor. A bit circular, but fine, let's accept that argument. I now invite the SDSU administration to become an official sponsor of the Minutemen. Then Minutemen activities will also be officially non-political. Why won't it do this? Perhaps because the administration supports "gay pride" politics, but does not support "stop illegal immigration" politics? It all sounds pretty political to me.
In a nutshell, the SDSU administration can send out political messages to thousands of folks officially urging participation in particular political activities. But it intends to prohibit me from sending out a message to a dozen friends asking them to participate in some peaceful demonstration on an issue - immigration and U.S. population growth - of the most critical importance to every aspect of our society, including every regional and national environmental issue.
Get real. SDSU administrators should be on the front lines defending freedom of speech to the hilt, not caving in to anonymous whiners from off the street. You are not doing your job. You shot from the hip and you miswrote, all pardonable I suppose for a busy person if a pardon is requested.
I am by no means placing myself above any state or university regulations. But you should not hold me to any regulations that are not imposed equally rigidly on all SDSU administrators and faculty members. And what you propose in your letter is indeed rigid.
From news articles and personal messages I have received, it is apparent that some civil liberties and private lawyers would like to take on the SDSU administration pro bono if your threat to me is not retracted. That is not my preferred option, but it certainly is an option others are urging on me.
Finally, let me correct a minor - but important - inaccuracy in today's Union-Tribune story ( http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20061013/news_7m13sdsu.html ):
It refers to the Minutemen as an "anti-illegal immigrant activist group." The same phrase - "anti-illegal immigration" - as used elsewhere in the article should have been used here as well. Virtually all Minutemen, including myself, regard out of control illegal immigration as created more by a few over-the-hill white folks in Washington - the likes of Bush, McCain, Frist, Kennedy, Pelosi, Filner - than it is to any 10,000 illegal immigrants who are simply looking for work.
I am copying this to many of the media people who talked to me today, as well as to SDSU colleagues, and to numerous friends and strangers who have written to support me and to offer some pretty harsh opinions about the SDSU administration. You doubtless will hear, or may already have heard, from some.
Letter from Bonnie Zimmerman - SDSU Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs
October 5, 2006
Dear Professor Hurlbert,
It has been brought to my attention that you have been using your University computer and/or email to conduct extensive personal business and political organizing. Please note that this is in violation of California Government Code 8314 and the University Policy on Computer Use.
This letter will serve as a formal cease and desist request. Henceforth, you are instructed to restrict your use of any University resources to University-related business. Failure to do so may result in rescission of your privilege to maintain a University email account.
Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs