Supporters of an Orange Coast College instructor congregated on campus Monday morning, calling on the administration to reprimand the OCC Republicans club for releasing what she and the demonstrators called a false statement about her denying three club members entry to a public event in March.
Various student groups, including the Feminism and Sociology Club, held signs and chanted “We pay tuition to this place, get them up out of our face” and “Hey hey, ho ho, admin neutrality has got to go.”
Jessica Alabi, the sociology and gender studies instructor embroiled in the controversy, appeared at the demonstration and said the African American/Women’s round table discussion was an invitation-only meeting and not part of a series of public events for Women’s History Month, as the Republicans club claimed.
The club asserted on its Facebook page last week that Alabi denied three group members, including club President Vincent Wetzel, admission to the discussion, telling them, “You can’t be here” and asking, “What are you even doing here?”
The club demanded disciplinary action against Alabi, with Wetzel questioning whether she has a “vendetta against Republicans” and saying “she’s supposed to include a non-discriminatory and welcoming environment for all her classes.”
The group called attention to the incident after receiving a response from the college to a California Public Records Act request the club filed. Members requested emails from administrators discussing the club and received in that information some emails from Alabi addressing her frustration to administrators in March.
In an interview Monday, Alabi said: “The current narrative is manipulated and filled with lies from the Republicans club. I feel like the people needed to hear the truth.”
She said that since the club’s Facebook post, she has received hate mail and phone calls from people calling her names.