Campus Watch June 19, 2024

A roundup of incidents, good and bad, happening on school campuses.
June 20, 2024

CSU Los Angeles President Calls for Pro-Palestinian Encampment to Leave After Occupation of Campus Building

CSU Los Angeles President Berenecea Johnson Eanes issued a statement on June 13 declaring that the pro-Palestinian encampment on campus need to leave campus after members of the encampment occupied and vandalized a campus building while administrators were inside.

Eanes’s statement, per ABC7: “As you likely know, last night unlawful protesters occupied the first four floors of the Student Services Building, destroying offices, stealing property, and leaving significant damage.” She added that there was “significant damage” to the building that will “will affect student-facing services including admissions, records, accessible technology, basic needs, new student and family engagement, Dreamer resources and educational opportunity programs. It will take time to restore all those spaces and divert significant resources that would otherwise go to academics, student services or operations.”

A university spokesperson told ABC7 that 12 administrators (including Eanes) were sheltering in place inside the building when the protesters occupied it. Eanes addressed the matter in her statement by saying: “For all those who sheltered in the Student Services Building, who had to leave in that chaos, thank you for being brave and resilient. Thank you for showing your professionalism and care … To the three employees and one student whose assaults were reported … I am so sorry. Know that this will not stand.”

Suspect Arrested for Alleged Arson Attacks on UC Berkeley’s Campus

A suspect was arrested on June 17 for allegedly committing three arson attacks on UC Berkeley’s campus as well as firebombing a university police vehicle during the month of June.

According to a press release from Cal Fire, the suspect has been identified as Oakland resident Casey Robert Goonan. He faces several felony charges, including possessing and using a destructive devices and arson. Goonan is being held in Alameda County Jail with bail set at $1 million. 

The most recent arson incident was on the afternoon of June 17; according to Campus Reform, university police said a fire was reported at the Dwinelle Annex Construction site. University police concluded that it was arson. An anti-Israel group called “Marilyn’s Daughters” wrote on Indybay.org, “a noncommercial, democratic collective of bay area independent media makers and media outlets,” that the fire “was done in retaliation for UCPD’s violent assaults on vulnerable student demonstrators and to punish the university of kkkalifornia [sic] system for supporting the genocidal zionist-Israel entity.” University spokesman Dan Mogulof told The Journal that “there was no damage or injuries” from the fire.

Dept. of Education Reaches Agreements with CUNY, UMich After Concluding That Neither School Properly Handled Antisemitism, Islamophobia Investigations

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) reached agreements with the City University of New York (CUNY) and University of Michigan after concluding that both schools did not properly handle investigations of antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus.

According to Jewish Insider (JI), both agreements involve investigations dating back to 2020 and are the first post-Oct. 7 cases to be closed. OCR’s agreement with CUNY involved “nine open investigations alleging antisemitism and Islamophobia or anti-Arab discrimination at several CUNY campuses” and OCR criticized CUNY “for failing to investigate and address an alleged antisemitic incident that occurred in a 2021 class at Hunter College,” JI reported. OCR also urged CUNY “to reopen investigations into antisemitic or Islamophobic harassment,” per JI. 

Regarding UMich, OCR found that they didn’t find any evidence that “that the university complied with federal civil rights requirements mandating that the school assess whether 75 incidents of shared ancestry discrimination reported from late 2022 to early 2024 created a hostile environment for students,” reported JI. Under the agreement between OCR and the university, UMich vowed “to review each report of discrimination from the 2023-2024 school year and to report on its progress assessing harassment over the next two years, as well as to better train employees to comply with federal civil rights guidelines,” per JI. 

Report: Columbia Antisemitism Task Force Documents Faculty Members Who Allegedly Engaged in Antisemitism

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz released a report on June 16 detailing some of the Columbia Antisemitism Task Force’s findings, including allegations of antisemitism from various faculty members.

The Task Force found instances in which a professor told students to not follow the mainstream media because “it’s run by Jews.” Another professor reportedly asked a student with a Jewish-sounding last name to share their views on Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip. Other faculty members also reportedly gave extra credit to students who attended the pro-Palestinian encampment on campus. The Task Force will be releasing a full report of their findings in the coming weeks.

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