San Francisco State offers students resources ‘to heal’ after violent Riley Gaines event

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Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines speaks during a rally on Jan. 12, 2023, outside of the NCAA Convention in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

San Francisco State offers students resources ‘to heal’ after violent Riley Gaines event

An administrator at San Francisco State University told students they could turn to on-campus counseling services to “heal” following an event with former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines.

Gaines, a spokeswoman for the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, spoke at the California university last week on keeping men who identify as women out of women’s sports programs. The event reportedly turned violent, and security rushed Gaines out of the lecture hall as protesters followed her while loudly chanting profanities at the former swimmer.

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“Riley shouldn’t have to worry about being physically assaulted when she is speaking out — just like she shouldn’t have to worry about her safety and privacy in the locker room,” Independent Women’s Forum President Carrie Lukas said in a statement following the incident. “It is appalling how so many so-called leaders in our country — including members of [the Biden] administration — are completely downgrading women’s interests as a priority. It is clear they care far more about making sure that biological men have the right to dominate women’s single-sex spaces — sports and locker rooms, prisons, sororities, and domestic violence shelters — than they do about protecting women’s core rights to speak their minds, to play sports, and to be safe and have privacy.”

Gaines made national headlines last year after she tied in an NCAA swimming national championship race with UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, a man who identifies as a woman and had previously competed in men’s swimming programs. Since completing her collegiate career, Gaines has repeatedly spoken out against transgender athletes in women’s sports programs and advocated laws requiring athletes to compete based on their biological sex.

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Following the incident at San Francisco State, Jamillah Moore, the university’s vice president of student affairs, reportedly sent an email to the student body that noted the fact that the university had become a flashpoint of controversy surrounding campus free speech rights and said that the university’s diversity meant students would be exposed to views they may “find personally abhorrent.”

“SF State is regularly noted as one of the most diverse campuses in the United States — this is what makes us Gators, and this is what makes us great,” Moore wrote in the email. “Diversity promotes critical discussions, new understandings and enriches the academic experience. But we may also find ourselves exposed to divergent views and even views we find personally abhorrent. These encounters have sometimes led to discord, anger, confrontation and fear. We must meet this moment and unite with a shared value of learning.”

The university administrator said nothing about the alleged violence that took place and thanked students who “participated peacefully” in the event. She also referred students to on-campus counseling and mental health services.

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“This feels difficult because it is difficult,” Moore wrote. “As you reflect, process, and begin to heal, please remember that there are people, resources and services available and ready to receive our Gator community, including faculty, staff members, coaches and mentors who are here to support you.”

San Francisco State did not respond to a request for comment.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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