Student-Veterans of Columbia University Demand Disciplinary Action for Professor De Genova and Accountability from Columbia Administration for March 26 Teach-in Statements.

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The United States Military Veterans of Columbia University (USMilVetsCU) find it unacceptable that the Columbia administration has responded with little to no disciplinary action for De Genova's hate speech at a March 26 on-campus "Columbia Faculty Teach-in." Student-veterans are threatened by the public call from a Columbia professor for "fragging" and the killing of American military members, and angered by the university's condoning of De Genova's message.

UNITED STATES MILITARY VETERANS OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Jedidiah Celima

President

United States Military Veterans of Columbia University

E-mail: jmc301@columbia.edu

Website: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/usmilvetscu/

Student-Veterans of Columbia University Demand Disciplinary Action for Professor De Genova and Accountability from Columbia Administration for March 26 Teach-in Statements.

Columbia University, New York City, April 4, 2003 -- As veterans of the United States armed forces and students of Columbia University, we unanimously find the comments made by Professor Nicholas De Genova at the March 26th teach-in to be unacceptable.

We have friends, colleagues, and family currently serving in the armed forces in Iraq. Additionally, many of us are actively serving in the U.S. armed forces or may be recalled to active duty. Professor De Genova’s suggestion that soldiers “frag” or kill their fellow soldiers is more than a mere rhetorical device protected by free speech: it is an open invitation to murder. Similarly, his call for a million replays of the horrific events of Mogadishu, in which 18 American soldiers and unknown hundreds of Somalis were killed, demonstrates his contempt and disregard for human life.

Professor De Genova’s comments would not have been tolerated had they been directed at anyone other than the men and women of the American armed forces. It is difficult to imagine that Columbia’s administration would allow a faculty member to make similar hate-filled statements toward any other social or ethnic group without taking disciplinary action. Professor De Genova’s call for violence encourages actions that endanger Americans who are not only soldiers but also Columbia students.

We therefore believe that the university should formally request from Professor De Genova a public apology and retraction of his remarks, addressed to the Columbia community. In addition, we ask that the administration issue an official condemnation of Professor De Genova’s comments and issue him a letter of reprimand or similar administrative punishment. Because of the nature of his statements, their effect on students and service members, and the fact that he made them at an event on Columbia’s campus with university sanction, we believe that this is an appropriate and reasonable course of action.

Sincerely,

The undersigned members of the United States Military Veterans of Columbia University:

Carl Beal, GSAS, USMC

Iman Bhullar, GS, Army

Jedidiah Celima, GS, USMC

Eric Chen, GS, Army

James Davis, GS, USMC

Scott Davis, GSB, USMC

Mick Devine, GS, USMC

Oscar Escano, GS, Army

Shane Hachey, GS, Army

Danny Han, CC, Army

Frederick Hawkins, GS, Navy

Brian Kessens, GSB, Army

Hee Ann Kim, GS, Army

Kurt Krummenacker, GSB, Army

Jeff Kwon, GS, Army

Stephen Lacey, GSAS, Army

Craig Lipman, SIPA, Navy

Alexander Martinez, CU, Army

James McDonald, CU, Army

David Metzler, GS, Navy

Sean Mullin, Film, Army

Edwin Pulido, GS, Navy

Richard Space, Jr., GS, USMC

Jeff Sult, TC, USMC

David Swift, CU, Navy

Robert Tarulli, GSB, Army

Wayne Thorsen, GS, Army

James Vilaichit, GS, USMC

Stephen Walsh, CE, Army

William Ward, GSB, Army

Justin White, GS, USMC

Paul Yates, GS, Navy

ADDITIONAL CONTACT INFORMATION:

Eric Chen

Vice-President

United States Military Veterans of Columbia University

Phone: 212-463-7457

E-mail: elc2003@columbia.edu

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