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Northwestern U. dean joins anti-Israel rally organized by far-left student groups

Said was to ‘ensure right to protest’

Far-left anti-Israel student groups gave newly admitted students at Northwestern University a “different dining experience” this past week as they protested the “colonization” of, and “genocide” in, “Palestine.”

The Daily Northwestern reports activists from Students for Justice in Palestine, Educators for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voice for Peace handed out flyers to new students accusing the university of “exploit[ing] its workers, abus[ing] the environment,” and being “complicit in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and continued presence in Gaza.”

The activists, who marched through campus, demanded a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, divestment from fossil fuel companies, and “the removal of [NU founder] John Evans’ colonial legacy on campus” (see here for background).

Ahmad Hamadeh, the parent of an admitted student, said he was “proud” to see protesters highlighting the “inhumanity that’s happening in Gaza” and Lebanon. Student Jordan Muhammad, a member of the SJP who uses “ki/kis pronouns,” said that in addition to protests and rallies, student groups needed to recruit “researchers and graphic designers.”

The activists also protested Northwestern’s Hillel, where one activist claimed the Jewish organization is “one of the many ways in which this university is complicit in infusing Jewishness with Zionism.”

Present at the rally was Northwestern Dean of Students/Assistant Vice President for Wellness Mona Dugo (pictured) who has a background in psychology and social work with a “particular focus on holistic well-being.” Dugo said her attendance was to “ensure students have the ‘right to protest’ and ‘protect the right to free speech.’”

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Northwestern spokesperson Eliza Larson told the student paper the NU community “fully supports (the) community’s right to peaceful protest.”

From the article:

“Admitted Students Day is a very curated experience for students, and that really blinds us to some of the things going on,” said SESP sophomore Anusha Kumar, a Fossil Free NU and SOLR [Students Organizing for Labor Rights] member. “It was really a great opportunity to work with organizations that have similar value(s) and show that solidarity.” …

“We’ve been trying to show you everything Northwestern won’t tell you, and a key part of that is how it treats its workers,” [SOLR member Julián] Fefer said. “We’re honored to stand here with you all to demand Northwestern treat workers and all members of our community humanely.”

Organizers said they started planning the protest this weekend […] Communication sophomore Selina Liu said the high turnout demonstrated that the issues that the organizations rallied for reached institutions beyond just NU. …

NU Hillel Executive Director Michael Simon said students are experiencing “a lot of concern and pain around the war,” and noted the recent escalation following Iran’s drone and missile barrage against Israel on Sunday.

“At spaces like Hillel, there’s real, thoughtful, nuanced conversation about the most challenging issues facing us,” Simon said. “I would hope anyone coming to Northwestern would come with an open mind and an open heart to engage across difference beyond rhetoric on a flier.”

Dean Dugo’s social media includes links to stories claiming the poor response by men to the COVID pandemic was because they were “too full of themselves,” and a warning regarding Michael Bloomberg’s entry into the 2020 presidential race (“Trump may be anti-democratic [but] Bloomberg is post-democratic”). There’s also a 2019 photo of her holding a sign reading “IMPEACH THE MOTHERF*CKER!”

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IMAGE: Northwestern U.

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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.