The UCSD administration first accused the Che Cafe Collective of being in violation of federal law by providing an internet link to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Web site, a terrorist organization per the U.S. State Department. Shortly thereafter, the administration changed its allegation and charged that the burn.ucsd.edu Web site sponsored by the collective violates federal law and university policy because it “”hosts”” the FARC site. Now it has dropped the discussion of FARC altogether, though nothing on the burn.ucsd.edu site has changed this week; now at issue is an archive of e-mails posted on burn.ucsd.edu relating to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, another U.S.-identified terrorist organization.

The Guardian believes that if the administration is going to censure a student organization for violating policy, it should take the time to research its charges in advance. This flip-flopping is an embarrassment to UCSD and prevents students from clearly understanding the nature of the situation.

Furthermore, the administration has thus far failed to formally charge the collective with misconduct, so that it doesn’t have to notify the A.S. Council and the Graduate Student Association of the alleged violations. If the university truly feels that federal law is being violated, the Che Cafe must be formally charged and other campus political bodies must be informed, as stated in the “”Memorandum of Understanding.””

We appreciate the university’s desire to give the Che fair warning before formalizing their complaint, but it seems the administration is deliberately upbraiding the collective in an underhanded and confusing manner; such actions not only set a poor example, but also make something as simple as abiding by the law an unnecessarily drawn-out and hostile process.

However, the Guardian also believes that the Che Cafe has been amiss in its reaction to the charges against its Web site. The collective should assert its right to freedom of speech and information, which it has claimed is the purpose of linking to and hosting the FARC’s Web site, and will undoubtedly claim to be the motivation for their hosting of the PKK information. That six nationally known organizations have written a letter to Vice Chancellor Joseph Watson on this issue shows how important it is; and if the Che Cafe is going to take a stand on such universally important issues, it must be ready and willing to follow through on them and make them known, especially when the administration tries to stop them.