Campus Uproar: SSU President on Leave After Conceding to Protestors’ Demands

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Sonoma State University (SSU) President Ming Tung “Mike” Lee was placed on leave when his plan to comply with protestors’ demands was revealed. The leaked emails have Lee agreeing to divest from and boycott Israel. 

This unprecedented move by a university president has sparked significant on and off campus controversy.

Protestors’ demands

The incident began when the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at Sonoma State University (SSU) shared screenshots of an email from President Lee. 

This email outlined his commitment to several demands. This includes divesting from and boycotting Israel, establishing an Advisory Council of Students for Justice in Palestine, recognizing Palestinian identity, developing a Palestine Studies curriculum, and supporting a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

The email’s leak caused a swift backlash, leading to Lee’s suspension. 

Sonoma State University, part of the California State University system, thus became the first academic institution in the United States to explicitly declare an academic boycott of Israel.