Education Department finds Michigan and CUNY failed to address campus hate complaints

The U.S. Education Department announced on Monday that the University of Michigan and the City University of New York have not adequately addressed recent incidents characterized as anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, and antisemitic.

As part of resolving complaints related to these incidents, both universities have agreed to specific actions, including reviewing past complaints, reporting outcomes to the government, training staff on responding to discrimination claims, and conducting additional surveys to evaluate discriminatory experiences.

These resolutions are the first among many investigations initiated by the department since Oct. 7, following the conflict between Hamas and Israel. Some investigations pertain to incidents predating the conflict.

According to the Education Department, the universities failed to address the hostile environment as required.

The incidents under scrutiny varied from social media threats against a Jewish student to allegations by pro-Palestinian students of being labeled as “terrorists.” Both universities acknowledged the resolution agreement and affirmed their opposition to discrimination and harassment.

Advocacy groups have noted a rise in hate and bias incidents targeting Jews, Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians in the United States, a close ally of Israel, during the conflict.

Notable U.S. incidents include the tragic stabbing of a 6-year-old Palestinian American child in Illinois in October, the shooting of three students of Palestinian descent in Vermont in November, and the stabbing of a Palestinian American man in Texas in February.

In April, a former Cornell University student pleaded guilty to making online threats, including death and violence, against Jewish students on campus. Additionally, there have been allegations of concerning rhetoric in recent college campus protests.

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