ASG attempts to follow through on Chabad House resolution

Cat Zakrzewski, Assistant In Focus Editor

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Associated Student Government is attempting to follow through on a contentious resolution, passed at the Feb. 20 Senate meeting, calling for the University to be more transparent about its decision to disaffiliate from the Tannenbaum-Chabad House.

The University disaffiliated from Chabad House formally in September following reports that its leader, Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein, violated University alcohol policy. Students from Chabad House decided to turn to ASG to call on Northwestern to provide more information about its decision, but some members of ASG argued nothing could be done.

Both president Victor Shao and executive vice president Brad Stewart spoke out against passing the resolution at the Feb. 20 meeting. Shao and Stewart did not support the resolution because they said they had already approached the administration about the situation, and Patricia Telles-Irvin, vice president for student affairs, declined to share any information due to the ongoing litigation.

“Legal counsel for the University has advised Dr. Telles-Irvin and the rest of the administration not to comment on the current litigation, therefore, we have not been able to receive any additional information on the matter,” Stewart wrote in an email to The Daily. “That being said, we will continue to work with the Chabad Executive Board and other students to ensure that their voice is heard in the process.”

But senator Harrison Flagler, said he would still attempt to follow through on his constituents’ request. He plans to contact Telles-Irvin now that the tensions of last week’s debate have dissipated.

“We have the right to at least ask,” the Bienen freshman said. “If the response is no response, the student body will see that.”

Matthew Renick serves as the president of the Chabad House executive board and spoke in support of the resolution at the Senate meeting. He said he was frustrated by the idea that the resolution should not have been passed because the administration might not come forward with more information.

“We know we probably aren’t going to get more answers,” the Communication senior said. “The resolution was for the future student body to expect more transparency for things like this.”

Renick said it was important for Chabad House and Klein to be associated with legislation that would set a precedent for the future because Klein had been at the “forefront” of change for the Jewish community.

“That is what Chabad and Rabbi Klein have been about,” Renick said. “I think the fact that Chabad’s name is on there is a great thing.”

Klein said he could not comment on the debate that occurred at last week’s Senate meeting because he wasn’t in attendance, but he did say he was very happy the resolution was eventually passed.

“I appreciate the tremendous amount of student support,” Klein said. “Students are asking for accountability.”