Campus Monitor - Wesleyan University

Student Voices

  • April 25, 2016 – Wesleyan University Jewish Student (Grace) – “…because I cannot separate my Judaism from my Zionism, the apartheid wall display struck me as a hate-filled personal attack. Wesleyan is supposed to be a place of inclusion, but the display felt like it was meant to ostracize certain community members.” Read more
  • May 2014, Wesleyan University Jewish Student (Rebecca) “At sundown on Sunday, April 27th, Yom HaShoah began. Internationally, Jews and people of all religions commemorated those lost in the Holocaust. At Wesleyan University, at 7 pm on the same day, the student government opened a discussion of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) certainly did not intend for these two events to coincide, and demonstrated this by attempting to postpone the discussion after being made aware of the meaning of the day. However, supporters of the BDS resolution were discontent to allow students to commemorate those lost in the Holocaust, and ferociously argued for the discussion to remain on that day. With barely ten minutes notice, students were forced to decide between attending vigils for Holocaust Remembrance Day, and engaging in a difficult political discussion. Many students either did not receive the message in time, or chose to honor Yom HaShoah instead of attending the WSA meeting. The conversation that day was almost entirely dominated by supporters of the resolution, and acknowledging this unfair disparity, members of the student assembly chose to postpone the vote on BDS to one week later.” Read more
  • May 2014, Wesleyan University Jewish Student (Rebecca) “Throughout the assembly meeting, the room was full of incredible hostility, despite the efforts of WSA members to keep it civil. As the vocal minority in the meeting, we were shushed and openly mocked.” Read more
  • May 2014, Wesleyan University Jewish Student (Rebecca) “Due to previous instances of harassment and the antagonistic actions of many in the meeting, I and other opponents of the resolution felt unsafe and uncomfortable leaving the room until the crowd had dissipated. Members of the WSA offered to escort us out of the building and even to call a Public Safety officer to ease our discomfort and ensure our safety. Although we did not feel the need to take them up on this offer, they clearly recognized the intimidation that pervaded the meeting.” Read more
  • May 2014, Wesleyan University Jewish Student (Rebecca) “No student on this or any campus should be made to feel unsafe for his or her beliefs. This resolution, while not doing anything to improve human rights on the ground and simply serving as a condemnation of Israel, has also caused an incredibly hostile campus atmosphere that will not be easily eradicated.” Read more
  •  

    Antisemitism Tracker

    Total Antisemitic Activity:

    To see more information on how AMCHA determines antisemitic activity, click HERE.
    To report a concern, click HERE.


    ClassificationDate-Description
    TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: DENIGRATION;
    HISTORICAL
    4/24/17 – At least one antisemitic flier was found along with anti-immigrant and racist fliers posted around campus. The antisemitic flier was posted on the corner of Church and High Street and said, “11% of the worlds billionaires are Jewish despite only 0.1% of the world’s population being Jewish. [Jewish star image] #JewPrivilege.”
    GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION;
    HARASSMENT;
    HISTORICAL
    11/14/16 – A student received a note under his door with a large swastika and the words, “Trump’s America.”
    DESTRUCTION OF JEWISH PROPERTY;
    HARASSMENT;
    DEMONIZATION
    2/17/15 – According to a student leader of Wesleyan United with Israel, flyers advertising that group’s Israeli Late Night were vandalized, by crossing out ‘Israeli’ and writing ‘Palestine’ on some flyers and crossing out ‘Israeli’ and writing ‘Fascism’ on others.
    ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION
    4/6/17 – Wesleyan Students Against the Fossil Fuel Industry published an article in the school paper in support of SJP’s “Israeli Apartheid Week” that demonized and delegitimized Israel throughout the article. The article stated, “In its occupation, Israel also perpetuates an apartheid state that discriminates against Palestinians. Apartheid extends from decreased legal, political, and economic rights for Palestinians, to the denial of access to basic needs, such as land for agriculture and water. In this way, the Zionist state project may also be seen as enacting a type of climate colonialism, or the practice of organizing environmental and climate damage to happen in colonized places and to people affected by normalized colonial violence. Indeed, Israel’s climate colonialism includes the extraction and usage of coal in occupied lands; the overexploitation of water at the expense of Palestinians’ access to water for drinking and agricultural use; the taking or degradation of arable Palestinian lands; and the dumping of garbage and toxic industrial waste on Palestinian lands, contaminating both water and soil. Furthermore, the impacts of climate change exacerbate those of Israeli settler colonialism, and vice versa… In addition to eliminating Palestinians and dispossessing them of their lands, Israel enacts domination through the overexploitation and contamination of Palestinian water and lands.”
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (BDS EVENT)
    4/4/16 – As part of “Israeli Apartheid Week,” SJP held an event with Vijay Prashad, Professor of International Studies, who spoke about “Crimes of Apartheid: A UN Report on Israel, BDS and the Backlash.”
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    DEMONIZATION
    4/26/16 – SJP published an article in the student newspaper that falsely accuses Israel of colonization and ethnic cleansing.
    DELEGITIMIZATION 4/15/16 – SJP erected an “apartheid wall” on campus. The top of the wall read, “Israeli Apartheid Week 2016” which falsely insinuates that Israel is an apartheid state.
    DEMONIZATION4/30/15 – Rutgers Professor Jasbir Puar delivered a lecture entitled “The ‘Right’ to Maim: Inhumanist Biopolitics and Palestine.” In her talk, Puar demonized and delegitimized Israel by falsely accusing Israel of achieving its goals of “settler colonialsim” through the intentional “maiming”, “stunting” and “debilitating” of Palestinians. An essay version of Puar’s talk included an acknowledgement that she considered her analysis “an anti-Zionist hermeneutic,” whose “ultimate purpose…is to labor in the service of a Free Palestine.” Puar’s talk was sponsored by the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program..
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION
    3/2/15 – Members of the Wesleyan SJP published an op-ed in the student newspaper which falsely accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “state terror,” and “apartheid”.
    BDS ACTIVITY:CALLS FOR BDS10/13/17 – Wesleyan JVP published a response article in the school paper that supported BDS, stating, “Wesleyan’s JVP chapter is currently working with a nationwide campaign not only to stand in solidarity with Palestinians by boycotting the corporations that fund their oppression, but also to stop the exchange of policing tactics between American police officers, FBI, border patrol agents, and the IDF. This campaign, called the Deadly Exchange, denounces the brutality enacted by law enforcement in both countries and challenges the idea that police violence in the name of ‘security’ is acceptable. We aim to disrupt these inhumane exchanges by raising awareness about the practice, and by pressuring the individuals and organizations that facilitate some of these exchanges (such as the ADL and Taglit-Birthright), to end their involvement. We invite you to join us in this campaign.”
    CALLS FOR BDS9/27/17 – According to the Wesleyan Argus, during a campus club fair, “SJP handed out pamphlets that urged students to refrain from purchasing Sabra products. The pamphlet cited the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement as a way for people to internationally support the Palestinian quest for freedom.”
    CALLS FOR BDS5/12/17 – SJP held a demonstration on campus in solidarity with the Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger Strike during Spring Fling that included a large sign saying, “Solidarity with Dignity Strike, Boycott Sabra.”
    CALLS FOR BDS5/10/17 – SJP delivered a second batch of over 100 letters signed by individual Wesleyan University students asking President Michael Roth to remove all Sabra products from Wesleyan dining facilities. They gave President Roth four hours to answer their demands and remove Sabra Hummus from campus dining. Part of the countdown campaign involved a large banner saying, “4 Hours to Remove Sabra” and, using a projector, projected a countdown of the hours. President Roth responded that he would not remove Sabra Hummus.
    BDS EVENT5/4/17 – SJP held the event, “Discussion on Palestinian Prisoner’s Hunger Strike and BDS” to “show solidarity with those participating in the Palestinian Prisoner’s Hunger Strike, and learn about the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions Movement!!!!”
    CALLS FOR BDS5/4/17 – SJP published a letter to the editor in the school paper that called for BDS and for the removal of Sabra Hummus products from Wesleyan’s dining options.
    BDS EVENT4/6/17 – SJP held the event, “The Politics of Academic Boycott and Anti-Normalization” with J. Kehaulani Kauanui, as part of “Israeli Apartheid Week.”
    BDS EVENTS4/16/15 – 40 Weseleyan students from Wes, Divest! And SJP conducted a 10-hour sit-in in the office of the University President to demand that the university’s divestment from “fossil fuels, the prison industrial complex, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

     

    In the News ?

    October 13, 2017:
    The Wesleyan Argus – Jewish Voice for Peace – An Urgent Call for Constructive Dialogue

    October 5, 2017:
    The Wesleyan Argus – Conflict Resolution: Why Boycotting Sabra is Not the Answer

    May 10, 2017:
    Wesleying – Response from President Roth not to endorse the BDS Campaign to ban Sabra from Campus

    May 4, 2017:
    The Wesleyan Argus – On the Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Strike
    (Description note, “Because the Samidoun Prison Solidarity Network has called for international supporters to advance boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns in their local contexts to support the prison strike, we are urging you to remove Sabra dipping products from all of Wesleyan’s dining options. Sabra is a target of the international BDS movement because it is owned by the Strauss Group, which has many links to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Strauss Group boasts about donating money to the Golani and Givati Brigades, IDF units that participated in the Israeli war crimes in the 2014 incursion in the Gaza strip…We urge you to take a stand against Israeli abuse of Palestinians’ human rights by removing Sabra from Wesleyan’s dining options.”)

    April 24, 2017:
    Wesleying – White Supremacist Posters Appear Around Campus

    November 14, 2016:
    The Wesleyan Argus – Wave of Post-Election Hate Crimes Hits Wesleyan
    (Description note, “The day after Wudd received the “your time is up” note, another was slipped under his door, this one more elaborated than the last. The second note, which Wudd posted to his Facebook page, features a large swastika and the words “Trump’s America,” as well as a list of four racial, ethnic, and sexual slurs in an interdictory circle, implying that queer people and people of color are not welcome under a Trump presidency.”)

    October 10, 2016:
    The Wesleyan Argus – WesCeleb: Yael Horowitz
    (Description note, “I think freshman year, when I got here, I was just like, “I’m going to dive into a lot of activism stuff!” And I was really involved with some of the sexual assault stuff that was happening and the initial resolution about divesting from Israel that happened that year, so in terms of that I’ve stayed the same in how I’ve cared about those things. I think I care a lot less about cultivating a lot of friendships and care more about cultivating deep friendships with the people I care about.”)

    September 29, 2016:
    The Wesleyan Argus – WesCeleb: Nadja Shannon-Dabek ’17
    (Description note “A: When you arrived on campus, were there any activist causes that you were particularly passionate about? How has Wesleyan allowed you to pursue those causes? NSD: My freshman year, I was really involved in Students for Justice in Palestine. We worked on a divestment resolution, asking the WSA to divest funds from any organizations that support or profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It was really cool because I had been aware of a lot of injustices in the world for a while, especially in Israel and Palestine, but I had never really found a community in which I could actively learn more and also feel like I was really doing something.”)

    April 26, 2016:
    The Wesleyan Argus – The Apartheid Wall and Solidarity with Palestinian Perseverance

    April 25, 2016:
    The Wesleyan Argus – Barrier to Dialogue: On the Negative Effects of the Apartheid Wall

    April 24, 2017:
    The Wesleyan Argus – Threatening Posters Alarm Students & Administration

    December 29, 2015:
    Star Tribune – College activist groups unite to pursue demands, win influence over campus investments
    (Description note, “Coalitions created this year at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and the University of Pennsylvania have pressured their institutions to drop investments in fossil fuels and prisons and in companies that have ties to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, demands that students previously pursued separately. At Tufts University near Boston, divestment groups against fossil fuels and Israel banded together with a coalition opposing investments in private prison companies.”)

    October 31, 2015: Accuracy in Academia – The Wesleyan Controversy and a Double Standard for Campus Free Speech
    (Description note, “To illustrate how a double standard exists in the academy as it relates to academic free speech one only has to look at other opinion pieces that have appeared in the self-same Argus, such as a March 2015 column written by members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a corrosive, anti-Israel group, who published an op-ed with the mendacious title, “Israel’s Apartheid State.” In the op-ed, written as the annual anti-Israel hate fest known as Israeli Apartheid Week was about to get underway at Wesleyan and campuses around the country, Israelis, and those Jewish students and other pro-Israel individuals on campus who support Israel, are described by the writers as racists, oppressors, ethnic cleansers, thieves and appropriators of Palestinian land, participants in “state terror,” colonial settlers, and aggressive militants who randomly and barbarically initiate “wars against Gaza” while slaughtering innocent Arabs in violation of international law, seemingly without motivation or justification.”)

    October 14, 2015: EVENT – Wesleyan SJP will be doing a event in solidarity with Palestinians and against Israeli apartheid.

    October 5, 2015: The Wesleyan Argus –  Palestinians Discuss Experiences in West Bank
    (Description note, “Sadin, a sculptor whose handmade works repurpose structures demolished by Israeli bulldozers, said that the soldiers bulldoze in the middle of the week, especially in November through January, when the winters weather is the harshest. He said the soldiers beat Israelis and Palestinians alike who try to stop the demolition process.”)

    September 29, 2015: EVENT – Students for Justice in Palestine – General Interest Meeting

    April 23, 2015: The Wesleyan Argus – What Just Happened? Prisons, Divestment, and Transparency (Description note, “Last week, President Roth committed to endorse prison divestment following a student sit in at his office. The sit in called for divestment from the fossil fuel industry, the private prison industry, and companies that profit off the Israeli occupation. The students released negotiated demands calling specifically for an immediate commitment to prison divestment on Thursday afternoon and decided to leave the office after Roth committed to these demands on Friday afternoon.”)

    April 16, 2015: The Wesleyan Argus – CIR Approves Resolution to Revise Investment Process (Description note, “Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees, under the advisement of the Committee for Investor Responsibility (CIR), approved a resolution on Saturday, Feb. 28, to consider “environmental, social, or governance factors” as a part of the University’s investment process.”)

    April 16, 2015: The Wesleyan Argus – Coalition for Divestment and Transparency Occupies South College; Roth Endorses Prison Divestment (Description note, “Around 40 students had gathered in South College at noon on Thursday, April 16 for a sit-in to demand the University’s divestment from fossil fuels, the prison-industrial complex, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. According to spokesperson Abby Cuniff ’17, the Coalition—a newly formed collaborative composed of members of Wes, Divest!, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and Ujamaa—met with Roth for an hour to discuss their manifesto and read him their demands.”)

    April 14, 2015: The Wesleyan Argus – Israel and Palestine in Middletown: Meet the Key Players (Description note, “Students for Justice in Palestine…Zionism as a colonial project, and the everyday occupation of Palestinians.”)

    April 13, 2015: The Wesleyan Argus – Student Groups Clash Over Politics of Israel and Palestine (Description note, “In February, Wesleyan United with Israel hosted a free Israeli Late Night. Days before the event, an SJP member posted an article about Israel’s appropriation of Palestinian and North African cuisine to the Facebook event page. “They also flyered outside our event saying, ‘The hummus is free, but Palestine isn’t,’” Sussman said. According to Renetzky, posters that Wesleyan United with Israel had hung in Usdan to advertise for the event were vandalized. He was discouraged by the animosity that these attacks revealed. “They crossed out ‘Israeli’ and wrote ‘Palestine,’” Renetzky said. “Then they crossed out ‘Israeli’ and wrote ‘Fascism.’” Sussman was also upset by the vandalism, which she believes limited the group’s ability to express its aims. Alpert believes that the vandalism incident is suggestive of more widespread animosity towards Wesleyan United with Israel. “The fact that we can’t hold an event celebrating the culture—just the culture; we were not defending any of Israel’s military actions—we think is problematic on this campus,” she said… University President Michael Roth said that he appreciates the diversity of opinions on campus, advocating for a high level of discourse among students. “Oy vey!” Roth said. “I think that trying to understand the issues in that conflict, and how one might be able to have an impact on American policy or what goes on there, is a really good question to ask oneself. Raising the intellectual level of understanding about the issues of the occupation, of the dynamic of violence and war in the region, Israel’s security concerns, and human rights issues—there’s a whole range of things to think about, that people are politely and intellectually disagreeing about.” Roth aims to foster an atmosphere in which students can engage with this issue safely and deeply. “I see my role as president, as opposed to…just a citizen, is to help the dynamic of sometimes intense, sometimes conflictual conversation and debate, but also to make sure that people don’t feel threatened, that they have some protection if things get too intense, that they’re not going to be ostracized, and they’re certainly not physically at risk,” Roth said. “I’m proud of the community that people can debate vigorously, but stay in the world of discourse rather than violence.”)

    March 2, 2015: The Wesleyan Argus – Israel’s Apartheid State

    February 24, 2015: The Wesleyan Argus – Apartheid and Genocide in the Middle East

    January 5, 2015: News @ Wesleyan – Kauanui Speaks on Native American Politics, Palestine Solidarity Politics

    March 12, 2015: The Jewish Daily Forward – Wesleyan Flouts Hillel Ban on Pro-BDS Speakers

    December 16, 2014: Jewish Journal – Hummus hits the headlines

    December 10, 2014: Huffington Post – After Protests, Wesleyan University Will Give Students Their Choice Of Hummus

    December 10, 2014: Inside Higher Ed – The Two-Hummus Solution

    December 10, 2014: Truth Revolt – BDS Fail: Wesleyan University Restocks Sabra Hummus

    December 8, 2014: The Daily Caller – Anti-Israel Activists Torpedo Hummus At Wesleyan

    December 4, 2014: The Wesleyan Hermes – Successful Boycott Campaign Results in Removal of Sabra from Wesleyan Dining Facilities

    May 20, 2014: EVENT – Wesleyan Divestment Petition – Description: Divestment Petition

    May 6, 2014: Hasbara Fellowships – How Divestment Fosters Hate (Description note, “At sundown on Sunday, April 27th, Yom HaShoah began. Internationally, Jews and people of all religions commemorated those lost in the Holocaust. At Wesleyan University, at 7 pm on the same day, the student government opened a discussion of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) certainly did not intend for these two events to coincide, and demonstrated this by attempting to postpone the discussion after being made aware of the meaning of the day. However, supporters of the BDS resolution were discontent to allow students to commemorate those lost in the Holocaust, and ferociously argued for the discussion to remain on that day. With barely ten minutes notice, students were forced to decide between attending vigils for Holocaust Remembrance Day, and engaging in a difficult political discussion. Many students either did not receive the message in time, or chose to honor Yom HaShoah instead of attending the WSA meeting. The conversation that day was almost entirely dominated by supporters of the resolution, and acknowledging this unfair disparity, members of the student assembly chose to postpone the vote on BDS to one week later.”)

    May 6, 2014: International Middle East Media Center – BDS: Wesleyan Student Fund Bars Investment in Israeli Occupation Profiteers

    May 5, 2014: Wesleyan Argus – WSA Adopts Resolution Supporting Divestment From Israeli Military Occupation of Palestine

    May 1, 2014: Wesleyan Argus –Divest From the Illegal Military Occupation of Palestine

    April 6, 2014: JNS – Wesleyan University Jewish students reject Hillel International’s Israel guidelines

    February 27, 2014: Wesleyan Argus – Israeli Apartheid Week Generates Negative Reaction On Campus

    February 27, 2014: EVENT – Israeli Apartheid Week: Roadmap to Apartheid – Description: Movie Screening

    February 24, 2014: EVENT – Israeli Apartheid Week 2014 – Description: Mock Wall

    February 6, 2014: Wesleyan Argus – University Alumni Sign Petition Against President Roth’s Denouncement of the ASA

    December 19, 2013: LA Times – Boycott of Israeli universities: A repugnant attack on academic freedom

     

    Photo Album - Campus Antisemitism

    wesleyan.hungerstrike2

    SJP holds demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger Strike, Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook (May 12, 2017)

    wesleyan.hungerstrike

    SJP asks President Michael Roth to remove all Sabra products from Wesleyan dining facilities, giving four hours to answer their demands and remove Sabra Hummus, Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook (May 10, 2017)

    Source Credit: SJP erected an “apartheid wall” on campus in honor of “Israeli Apartheid Week 2016.” Source Credit: SJP Facebook (April 15, 2016)

    Source Credit: SJP erected an “apartheid wall” on campus in honor of “Israeli Apartheid Week 2016.” Source Credit: SJP Facebook (April 15, 2016)


    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook page, July 23 2014

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook page, July 23 2014

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook page, Sept 26 2014

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook page, Sept 26 2014

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook Page

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook Page

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook Page

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook Page

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook Page

    Source Credit: Wesleyan SJP Facebook Page

    To report antisemitic activity at this or any other campus, you may:

    BDS Tracker

     

    May 2014 – Passed – Student Government “calls for the University and the WSA to divest from companies that profit from occupation of Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem”


    BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty


    STUDENT BDS

    Student Group(s) Promoting BDS: 11

    1. Asian American Student Collective
    2. Jewish Voice for Peace
    3. Pharal Wes
    4. Shakti
    5. SJP
    6. Students for Ending Mass Incarceration
    7. Ujamaa
    8. USLAC
    9. Veg Out
    10. Wes, Divest!
    11. Wesleyan Democratic Socialists

    List Found Here

    FACULTY BDS

    Number of Faculty Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel: 6

    1. J. Kehaulani Kauanui
    2. Elizabeth McAlister
    3. J. Akos Ostor
    4. Anu (Aradhana) Sharma
    5. Gina Athena Ulysse
    6. Margot Weiss