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The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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University President Michael Schill announces members of Advisory Committee on Preventing Antisemitism and Hate

Daily file photo by Jacob Wendler
The committee will comprise a mix of faculty, staff, students, alumni and trustees, according to a Tuesday message from University President Michael Schill.

University President Michael Schill announced sixteen members of the President’s Advisory Committee on Preventing Antisemitism and Hate Tuesday in a University-wide message.

The committee will comprise nine faculty members in fields ranging from history to medicine, two students, two trustees and two University administrators: Associate Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance Emily Babb and Assistant Vice President of Wellness and Dean of Students Mona Dugo. Michael Simon, executive director of Northwestern Hillel, will also sit on the committee.

Weinberg senior Lily Cohen and Weinberg junior Mahdi Haseeb — who has served as the MENA Student Association’s student senator — will be the committee’s student representatives, and trustees Paula Pretlow (Weinberg ’77, Kellogg ’78) and Tarek Elmasry (Kellogg ’94) will represent NU’s Board of Trustees. Faculty members will include Pritzker Prof. Heidi Kitrosser, Feinberg Prof. Philip Greenland and Kellogg Prof. Nour Kteily, among others.

In the message, Schill said the members of the committee — which will be co-chaired by Kellogg Prof. Efraim Benmelech and School of Education and Social Policy Dean Bryan Brayboy — were selected to represent a diverse set of perspectives and experiences. Schill also warned that harassment, bullying or doxxing of the committee members will not be tolerated.

“Each of these individuals brings passionate and thoughtful views to the table, all of which hold value in the broader conversation we seek to have,” Schill said in the Tuesday message. “They have answered the University’s call for assistance and deserve the grace to do the work that will benefit all of us.”

The message comes as Israel’s continued ground and air offensive in the Gaza Strip has killed more than 25,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian officials, and has sparked concern about violations of international law at the United Nations and the International Court of Justice. Since the militant group Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel — which killed about 1,200 Israelis, according to Israeli officials — Schill has stood by his position of institutional neutrality while emphasizing his commitment to free speech and his opposition to antisemitism in several messages to the NU community.

The committee will advise Schill and Provost Kathleen Hagerty “on issues related to safety” and recommend potential responses to promote open discourse and the well-being of students.

Schill, who faced blowback from students and faculty in November for not calling more attention to Islamophobia on campus when he initially announced the committee, also singled out Islamophobia as one of several forms of hate the committee will address in Tuesday’s message.

Schill also faced external pressure last month from a nonprofit advocacy group which aired television ads during the Las Vegas Bowl criticizing his response to antisemitism on campus as inadequate. 

In their opening letter to the University community Tuesday, Benmelech and Brayboy said they will prioritize empathetic listening, creating educational opportunities to learn about antisemitism, hate and Islamophobia, and making recommendations to the president and provost.

They also emphasized that the committee will not weigh in on geopolitics, opting instead to focus on creating an environment for learning and engaging in meaningful conversations.

“Along with other members of the committee, our primary commitment is clear: We will help create the conditions for members of our community to thrive without fear of hate or violence (both physical and psychological),” they wrote in the letter. “We are especially committed to ensuring that students at Northwestern are free to learn, grow, develop, and pursue their interests in ways that are both serious and joyful.”

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