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Northeastern University Calls ZOA’s Student Evidence of Anti-Semitism in Classrooms ‘Unsubstantiated Allegations’

Boston’s Northeastern University responded on Friday to allegations made by students of rampant anti-Semitism from faculty, after The Algemeiner pressed the school on why it hadn’t answered a formal letter from three months ago from the Zionist Organization of America, which helped the students make their case.

The 12-page report from the ZOA cataloged a litany of student horror stories, including intimidation, class harassment and teachers indoctrinating an alternative reality version of Middle East and Israeli history. Named as a prime culprit is Professor of International Affairs Denis Sullivan, now Co-Director of Northeastern’s Middle East Center for Peace, Culture and Development, who did not respond to The Algemeiner’s requests for comment.

In a statement issued to The Algemeiner, Northeastern University said: “If any member of our community feels marginalized for any reason, the university has a range of offices and avenues where grievances can be heard and resolved. This includes a dedicated Office of Diversity and Inclusion, our extensive student affairs operation, and the university ombudsman.”

“However, unsubstantiated allegations made by third parties are not sufficient for Northeastern—or any university—to launch internal investigations. Pursuing unsubstantiated allegations is just as irresponsible as ignoring legitimate concerns,” the statement said.

Susan B. Tuchman, the human rights lawyer who heads the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice and prepared the report based on extensive student interviews, said the school’s statement was “just another slap to students and their concerns.”

“The Northeastern University statement says that students should complain if anyone ‘feels marginalized for any reason.’  But as the ZOA letter points out, Jewish students repeatedly complained.  Their complaints were ignored, or the hostility they were subjected to was justified,” Tuchman told The Algemeiner.

“One student who bravely spoke up at a forum about campus civility was publicly demeaned and embarrassed by a dean. You’ve probably seen the videos that are posted on ‘Shame On NEU.’ These videos contain actual recordings of what professors have said in NU lectures,” she said. “Dismissing the reports in our letter as ‘unsubstantiated’ allows the administration to avoid the real issue, about whether Jewish students are being subjected to a hostile learning environment and what must be done to remedy the problem.  Northeastern’s reaction is just another slap to students and their concerns.”

In their report, the ZOA said, ”Much of our work is dedicated to helping Jewish students who are being subjected to anti-Semitic harassment and intimidation on their college campuses. We were contacted about longstanding problems that Jewish students have been facing on your campus, both at the undergraduate level and at the law school.”

“More than a year ago, Jewish students wrote you a heartfelt letter, telling you that the ‘Jewish community at Northeastern is beginning to feel unsafe and uncomfortable on campus and we feel it is the obligation of the University to prevent that.’ In addition, a number of Jewish students have appealed individually to you and other university officials for help. Outside advocates for students have also brought the campus problems to your attention, going so far …read more
Source: The Algemeiner

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Posted by on October 5, 2013. Filed under Jewish News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.