Fordham’s Decision to Block Pro-Palestine Group Is an Attack on My Academic Freedom



By Jacob Linker /
March 13, 2017

Fordham University has a real problem with political speech. In the name of avoiding controversy, they suck the air out of political life on campus and then act surprised that so few are able to take a deep breath. The fear of political polarization or controversy . . . often stifles meaningful dialogue on campus and deprives students of the opportunity to engage in the marketplace of ideas.

I am a proud Jew and a proud American. However, I cannot defend the actions of my school — Fordham University — which has recently blocked the formation of a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter on campus.

On November 17th, the United Student Government stated that SJP “fulfills a need for open discussion and demonstrates that Fordham is a place that exemplifies diversity of thought.”

However, Dean of Students Keith Eldredge would go on to deny SJP official recognition. He stated that Fordham “cannot support an organization whose sole purpose is advocating political goals of a specific group, and against a specific country.” Seemingly unaware of the irony, he went on to argue that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict . . . often leads to polarization rather than dialogue.”

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White Supremacists Targeting Washington State Colleges


University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce. (photo: U.W.)

Campuses in 24 other states also have been hit with supremacist fliers, a new national report says.

By Katherine Long / The Seattle Times
March 6, 2017

“Don’t let these cowardly tactics succeed. Remember: There are far, far more of us than there are of them.”
— UW President Ana Mari Cauce

White-supremacist groups are targeting college campuses in Washington and 24 other states with fliers that promote their ideology, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League, a national organization that fights hate speech and anti-Semitism.

Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said three white-supremacist groups appear to be at work in Washington: Identity Evropa and Atomwaffen at the University of Washington and American Vanguard at Washington State University.

In total, the Anti-Defamation League has cataloged 104 incidents of white-supremacist posters appearing on campuses in at least 25 states, starting in September 2016. “The fact we’re seeing this many fliers around the country raises a red flag,” Segal said.

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A Letter to President Trump


The following letter by forty-eight US university presidents and chancellors was sent to President Trump on February 2, 2017.

By Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Lee C. Bollinger, Robert A. Brown, Robert L. Barchi, and Ronald J. Daniels, et al. / The New York Review of Books
March 9, 2017

Throughout its history America has been a land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom in the world. It has attracted talented people to our shores and inspired people around the globe. This executive order is dimming the lamp of liberty and staining the country’s reputation. We respectfully urge you to rectify the damage done by this order.

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
United States of America

Dear President Trump:

We write as presidents of leading American colleges and universities to urge you to rectify or rescind the recent executive order closing our country’s borders to immigrants and others from seven majority-Muslim countries and to refugees from throughout the world. If left in place, the order threatens both American higher education and the defining principles of our country.

The order specifically prevents talented, law-abiding students and scholars from the affected regions from reaching our campuses. American higher education has benefited tremendously from this country’s long history of embracing immigrants from around the world. Their innovations and scholarship have enhanced American learning, added to our prosperity, and enriched our culture. Many who have returned to their own countries have taken with them the values that are the lifeblood of our democracy. America’s educational, scientific, economic, and artistic leadership depends upon our continued ability to attract the extraordinary people who for many generations have come to this country in search of freedom and a better life.

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