RESOLUTION (E-MAIL CENSORSHIP AT DOMINGUEZ HILLS)

WHEREAS the California State University Dominguez Hills campus administration attempted to prevent the California Faculty Association from using the campus e-mail listserv to send its 5 January edition of “Headlines” (its state-wide on-line weekly newsletter sent electronically to all members who join a list-serv); and

WHEREAS the CSUDH administration unilaterally declared CFA's weekly missive to be "partisan" in its critiques of the Trustees' and governor's CSU funding proposals as described in the Governor's State of the State speech; and

WHEREAS, although there are statutes that prohibit the use of public resources for partisan purposes, the intent of the law and past litigation has limited the prohibition to partisan campaigning for candidates in an election; and

WHEREAS censorship is the systematic use of power to broadly control freedom of speech and expression, a restriction on speech or writing which includes restrictions on forms of expression before they are disseminated; and

WHEREAS what the CSUDH administration imposed meets the test for censorship because it has prevented CFA from reaching campus employees on a voluntary listserv, a listserv that members can leave anytime they wish; and

WHEREAS the CSUDH administration had previously imposed censorship on CFA e-mail communications: in October 2004 when the CSUDH administration attempted to block two stories discussing two initiatives on the upcoming ballot, and the preceding June when it imposed a one-working-day preview on "all CFA material distributed through the campus e-mail system"; and

WHEREAS clearly, the CSUDH administration is attempting to use its power to impose restrictions on any opinions it views as critical or contrary to its own; and

WHEREAS in this environment CSUDH can never become the "communiversity" mentioned in the campus vision statement: a place where free speech, diversity of opinion, and open communication are valued; and

WHEREAS CFA plans to file an unfair labor practice charge with the Public Employees Relations Board, saying this is a unilateral change in a major working condition without bargaining under the terms of the contract; therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Academic Senate of Sonoma State University finds that the censorship of CFA materials at our sister campus at Dominguez Hills is intolerable, outrageous, and unacceptable, and stands resolutely in solidarity with the faculty at CSUDH in deploring this act of censorship and calling for its immediate end; and further be it

RESOLVED that the Faculty Secretary be directed to notify the CFA (Chapter and State-wide), the Statewide Academic Senate, the Chancellor’s Office, and the administration of CSUDH of this action taken.

Approved by the SSU Academic Senate with no dissent March 23, 2006