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

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

The Daily Northwestern


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Seven members of Advisory Committee on Preventing Antisemitism and Hate step down

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Nicole Markus/The Daily Northwestern
The committee — originally announced in November — originally included 16 members, including faculty, students, trustees and administrators and began its work in January.

Seven members of the President’s Advisory Committee on Preventing Antisemitism and Hate stepped down from the committee Wednesday, effective immediately.

A letter addressed to University President Michael Schill cited Schill’s decision not to consult the committee on the agreement reached Monday between administrators and the organizers of the pro-Palestinian encampment on Deering Meadow.

“It is essential that the University develop appropriate and timely recommendations to address and prevent antisemitism and hate,” the members wrote in the letter obtained by The Daily. “However, in light of the University leadership’s decision not to utilize the committee for its stated purpose, we can no longer continue to serve in this role.”

In the agreement, Northwestern committed to reestablish the now inactive Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility and answer questions from “internal stakeholders” about the University’s financial holdings. It also agreed to “provide and renovate a house for MENA/Muslim students” on campus and allow demonstrations to continue protests on Deering Meadow through June 1. In exchange, demonstrators agreed to take down all tents except one and only use approved devices to project or amplify sound.

The letter also said the committee was not able to reach a consensus on a statement condemning recent antisemitism on campus.

The committee — announced in November — began its work in January and originally included 16 members, including faculty, students, trustees and administrators.

The letter was signed by Kellogg Prof. Efraim Benmelech — one of the committee’s two co-chairs — as well as Weinberg senior Lily Cohen, NU Hillel Executive Director Michael Simon, University trustee Paula Pretlow, Economics Prof. Martin Eichenbaum, History Prof. Daniel Greene and Feinberg Prof. Philip Greenland.

University spokesperson Jon Yates told The Daily the University was “disappointed” with the resignations, noting that “The University has no tolerance for antisemitic or anti-Muslim behavior” and that its “commitment to protecting Jewish students, faculty and staff is unwavering.”

We will continue to engage with all members of the Committee – including the members who have resigned – and other Jewish members of our community, to ensure the vital objectives of this Committee continue,” Yates wrote.

In a Wednesday afternoon message sent to the NU Hillel community, Simon explained his decision to resign from the committee, noting his belief that that “our University must be a place to live, learn, explore, and connect without fear, even and especially when we disagree with one another.”

I accepted my appointment to the Committee last fall with the expectation that we would make a good-faith effort toward achieving these goals,” Simon wrote. “Over time, it has become apparent that the Committee is not able to do so.”

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Email: [email protected]

X: @jacob_wendler

Related Stories: 

Administrators, student demonstrators reach agreement to end encampment on Deering Meadow 

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