The Cal State Fullerton College Republicans club is working to have Associated Students Inc. (ASI) endorse a resolution encouraging University President Mildred Garcia to issue an official response to an altercation that occurred Feb. 8 between part-time lecturer Eric Canin and three members of the club.
Club President Chris Boyle said the goal of the resolution is to have Garcia “stand up for student safety” and ban Canin from campus.
Canin has maintained his innocence since the incident. After the altercation, he said he “did not touch anyone” and a Feb. 24 California Faculty Association (CFA) Fullerton statement said he “categorically denies” striking anyone.
“We think since the unions are standing up against students and for violent professors. It’s really on our student government to stand up for the students,” Boyle said. “We’re going to be petitioning them to do just that.”
CFA Fullerton Faculty Rights Chair Tyler McMillen called the College Republicans’ efforts to dismiss Canin a “disgusting witch hunt” in a text message Tuesday. CFA Fullerton also supported a petition created by eight CSUF faculty members calling for Canin’s reinstatement.
“A ‘witch hunt’ would be us looking for professors who disagree with us and dragging them out and demanding that they be fired because they disagree with us,” Boyle said. “This is a professor who came up to a student and physically attacked him. I don’t think that asking for them to be removed from campus is unreasonable.”
Boyle said he talked with ASI Chief Governmental Officer Amanda Martinez about presenting his resolution in front of the ASI Executive Committee. Martinez said she directed him to ASI Board of Directors Chair Kayleigh Bates to learn more about the process of getting an item on ASI’s agenda.
“Technically, this isn’t my role, but I’m doing it because I want to help students, and I care about all of them and will help them get to whoever they’re supposed to talk to,” Martinez said.
Boyle met with Bates Tuesday and brought his findings to a College Republicans club meeting that night at the TSU Underground Pub. He said the process can take “anywhere from three to five weeks.”
“First, it would have to go through a Governance committee, which would take about a week to happen if it even gets on there. Then once it gets past the Governance, then it would have to go to the Board after that, so it’s a long process and it hasn’t even reached the Governance agenda yet,” Martinez said. “It takes a lot to really move things.”
A copy of the currently drafted resolution was also handed out to attending members at the club’s meeting.
“To get (ASI) to side with us-stand side by side with us on this issue-sends a powerful message to the entire student body that the students are one voice saying violence against anyone, no matter what their political beliefs are, is unacceptable,” Boyle said at the meeting.
The altercation occurred during a counter-protest to an anti-Trump march held on Titan Walk. An internal university investigation found that “a campus employee struck a student,” said Chief Communications Officer Jeffrey Cook in an emailed statement Feb. 22.
Cook has continued to refer to the Feb. 22 statement for comment, which said the university is “taking appropriate action.” Canin was suspended following the incident.
Hayley M. Slye and Priscilla Bui contributed to this report.