Mandel v. Board of Trustees of the California State University

From April 2016 to March 2019
San Francisco State University (Public college or university)
San Francisco, CA, United States

Identity of Speakers

  • Jacob Mandel

    Jacob Mandel was a student at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and President of Hillel at SFSU.

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Recognized student group event
  • Incident Political Orientation:
  • Incident Responses:
    Rally or Protests
    Campus police
  • Incident Status:
  • Did not involve Speech Codes


Jacob Mandel was a student at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and President of Hillel at SFSU. Mandel and other Jewish students at SFSU alleged a pattern of discriminatory and hostile actions taken against them by other student groups, such as the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), with the tacit approval of university administrators. For example, SFSU Hillel invited Nir Barkat, then Mayor of Jerusalem, to speak on campus in April 2016. A group of individuals, including many members of GUPS, allegedly commandeered the event and shut it down, using amplified sound to disrupt Barkat’s speech with continuous menacing chants such as “Get the fuck off our campus!” and “intifada!” SFSU administrators instructed campus police to “stand down” and allow the disruption to shut down the event. Mandel and others also alleged that SFSU has repeatedly denied Plaintiffs’ student groups, including Hillel and the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, equal access to campus events that welcome other non-Jewish student organizations at the university.

Mandel and the other students filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on June 19, 2017, alleging § 1983 violations of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by various university administrators. The Court granted a Motion to Dismiss the entire complaint, saying that the acts described in the complaint “do not adequately allege a violation of federal discrimination law.” On appeal, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit.