UC Irvine on alert after 'threat of violence' shuts down student meeting

American flags flap in the wind. (Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters)
American flags flap in the wind.

UC Irvine is on alert after a "viable threat of violence" forced a branch of student government to cancel a meeting Tuesday.

The threats come one week after the Associated Students of UC Irvine's Legislative Council passed a resolution to ban national flags from the student government's offices. The resolution has since been vetoed by ASUCI's executive branch, and campus administration has publicly opposed the legislation.

The weekly Legislative Council meeting was expected to address the flag ban, which would have only affected flags in the ASUCI offices. The resolution was proposed after an American flag was hung on a wall in the office, and removed by students who felt the flag did not promote an inclusive environment.

Despite canceling the meeting, protesters carrying American flags gathered at the campus flagpoles to voice their opposition to the Legislative Council's actions.

In a statement Tuesday, Chancellor Howard Gillman emphasized the need for civil discourse, and condemned any threats to the students. 

“The safety of our campus and its students, faculty and staff is and will always be our absolute, utmost concern," Gillman said. "There is no gray area when it comes to threats of violence; they will not be tolerated, and we cannot allow our community to be put at risk. Regardless of your opinion on the display of the American flag, we must be united in protecting the people who make this university a premier institution of higher learning."