City College of New York (CCNY), a college within the City University of New York (CUNY) system, announced late Friday that it would allow a book event organized by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) to go forward after the college cancelled the event because it considered it to be controversial and feared it would generate negative publicity.
Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights wrote CUNY Chancellor James B. Millikin and CCNY President Vincent Boudreau on April 25, warning that the cancellation violated the First Amendment, by which public colleges are bound. The letter demanded that the event be allowed to proceed and that CCNY apologize to the students.
Paul F. Occhiogrosso, Executive Counsel to the President, wrote Palestine Legal on Friday stating that the event would be allowed to proceed as planned. In a separate email, a Student Affairs administrator apologized to SJP on behalf of the Vice President.
“We’re glad CCNY recognized it can’t discriminate against viewpoints it considers controversial,” said Radhika Sainath, Senior Staff Attorney with Palestine Legal. “We’ll continue to monitor the situation to make sure that students organizing for Palestinian rights aren’t treated differently from other groups.”
The May 3 event, titled The General’s Son: The Transformation of an Israeli in Palestine, features Israeli-American writer and activist Miko Peled.