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American U. bans protests inside campus buildings in response to antisemitism

In response to “recent events [that] have made Jewish students feel unsafe and unwelcome,” American University has banned students from protesting inside campus buildings.

In a January 25 email, AU President Sylvia Burwell and other administrators wrote “antisemitism is abhorrent, wrong, and will not be tolerated.”

As such, student protests are forbidden in “university buildings, residence halls, dining facilities, or other indoor spaces used for educational activities, events, or university operations.”

They also noted all student organizations must be “welcoming to all students,” and “posters and university-sponsored events” must be “inclusive.”

According to The Eagle, the email comes after numerous anti-Israel protests inside the School for International Service (pictured), and a formal complaint by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and Jewish On Campus alleging AU “permitted a hostile environment for Jewish and Israeli students” and holds these students to a “double standard.”

The email says “any clubs that are found to be unwelcoming will lose university recognition which grants funding and access to university facilities,” and that “anyone displaying posters that do not ‘promote inclusivity’ will be subject to general disciplinary action.”

In response to the message, the AU chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine called for “all students, faculty [and] staff” to “walkout, protest [and] strike” on Friday.

“President Burwell continues to actively suppress campus-based actions in solidarity with the Palestinian cause and silence the voices of Palestinian students and faculty as well as their allies,” the group said. “Burwell has created an unsafe and hostile campus environment emboldened by her blatant disregard for the safety of ALL AU students, faculty, and staff.”

The administrators’ email also noted “enhancements” to the “AUx2” curriculum such as “content and learning objectives about the relationships between racism, discrimination and oppression, antisemitism, anti-Muslim hate, and other forms of hate and bigotry.”

MORE: American U. protest: Faculty should ‘connect’ Palestinians’ plight to their coursework

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.