Can Taking Universities to Court Make Things Better for Jews on Campus?

April 1, 2024 | Eli Lake
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Perhaps the area where the fight against anti-Semitism in the U.S. runs fiercest is on college campuses. Some Jews, making use of a variety of federal anti-discrimination laws, have responded to anti-Jewish antagonism at the universities with legal action. Eli Lake examines what these efforts have achieved, looking primarily at the example of the University of Vermont, where, among other egregious incidents, a mob threw stones at the campus Hillel House. The Brandeis Center, a leading advocate for Jewish students on campus, filed a formal complaint with the Department of Education:

As a result, one year later, the university has reformed. While in the past, its official anti-discrimination policy did not include special protections for students based on their ancestry, the school has now updated its rules to be clear that anti-Semitism, along with any other hatred toward ethnic groups, is not accepted at the university. And Jewish students, according to the university’s Hillel House president Matt Vogel, now say they receive prompt responses to complaints from the administration, often within 24 hours.

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