World, Education

2 universities fell short in addressing antisemitic, anti-Palestinian incidents: US Education Department

Education Department entered into resolution agreements with University of Michigan, City University of New York on Civil Rights Act

Seda Sevencan  | 18.06.2024 - Update : 18.06.2024
2 universities fell short in addressing antisemitic, anti-Palestinian incidents: US Education Department Students holding Palestinian flags and banners gather the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center during pro-Palestinian protests against the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza, in New York, United States on May 14, 2024.


The City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of Michigan have failed to meet federal standards in addressing recent antisemitic and anti-Palestinian incidents on their campuses, but they have pledged to take corrective measures, the US Education Department said on Monday.

Following investigations, the department’s Office for Civil Rights found that both universities were out of compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Title VI "prohibits race, color, or national origin discrimination, including harassment based on a person’s shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics,” said the department.

The office reviewed 75 reports of shared ancestry harassment and discrimination against the University of Michigan ranging from the 2022-23 school year to this February.

The office “found no evidence that the university complied with its Title VI requirements to assess whether incidents individually or cumulatively created a hostile environment for students, faculty, or staff, and if so, to take steps reasonably calculated to end the hostile environment, remedy its effects, and prevent its recurrence," said a department statement.

In the case of the City University of New York, the department announced the resolution of nine pending complaints against the university and its affiliated colleges from the academic year 2019-2020 onward.

Both institutions have agreed to resolutions to address the issues.

“Hate has no place on our college campuses – ever. Sadly, we have witnessed a series of deeply concerning incidents in recent months. There’s no question that this is a challenging moment for school communities across the country. The recent commitments made by the University of Michigan and CUNY mark a positive step forward,” said US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

“The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights continues to hold schools accountable for compliance with civil rights standards, including by investigating allegations of discrimination or harassment based on shared Jewish ancestry and shared Palestinian or Muslim ancestry.”

“We will continue to work with school leaders, educators, and students across the country to ensure that everyone has a safe learning environment,” Cardona added.

The announcement comes at a fraught time for many US campuses, with students who protest in defense of Palestine often being falsely accused of thereby being antisemitic.

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