"We deny that we are Anti-Semitic, despite the fact that we Allow Students for Justice in Palestine to Speak, and Banned the Jews from Campus." SMC.
December 15, 2023 - Dr. Sion Roy, the President of the Board of Trustees of Santa Monica College, announced in a Tweet that the institution was "among a number of schools being investigated by the US department of education for discrimination on campus." He claimed, "In our case this relates to SMC's Inter-Club Council's (ICC) action against Students Supporting Israel (SSI) in October."
On October 19, the ICC, a student-run governing body, denied SSI, a pro-Israel group, the ability to register as an official student group on campus. SSI has been an official SMC student group since 2014. According to members of SSI, some individuals at the ICC meeting claimed that US Jews were ethnically cleansing Palestine. Then the chair of ICC "said that our club being inducted and available to the public, would cause a rise in violence and that our club is about is promoting violence," according to the SSI member.
The ICC then voted 12-3 to deny SSI the right to be a student group on campus because of the charge of promoting violence.
The president of the national organization of SSI wrote to SMC to note that in nearly ten years on SMC's campus, the club had not had one violent incident. By contrast, "SMC currently has clubs that are officially registered and openly advocate for Hamas which has been designated as a terror organization by the United States Department of State."
After hearing complaints from SSI and others, the Office of Student Life took action. After consulting with Campus Counsel, they concluded that " there is no lawful basis to deny recognition to SSI as a student club. SSI will be given recognized status and full club support at 66% funding determined by the Inter-Club Council Constitution until the club can be officially recognized at the next Inter-Club Council meeting." In addition, the Office of Student Life agreed to conduct a review of Inter-Club Council procedures and policies "to ensure students understand fully their duties as representatives and delegates."
Following this decision, SSI wrote a thank you on Instagram to SMC for its "swift response to our concerns. Their cooperation and professionalism make us proud to be SMC students." However, SSI warned that it would be a mistake to "forget about the blatant antisemitism that caused such an issue to begin with."