Donate Shop Register


Statement by Brooklyn College Student President RE: BDS event.


BROOKLYN, NY: Abraham Esses, the CLAS President, released the following statement in response to the Political Science Department sponsorship of a politically charged event on the campus:

"Dear students, faculty members, and administrators,

Over the past few days, there has been much confusion as to exactly why students are upset about the upcoming BDS event on campus. Although the controversy first became public last week, each of Brooklyn College’s student governments have not been directly involved until the past few days. The reason for CLAS’s involvement, accordingly, has nothing to do with the event itself, but instead the recklessness in which faculty members and administrators have approached the event. 

The department’s approach to the issue is far from constructive; knowing well in advance that such sponsorship would insult and isolate a large portion of its students, it chose to express its own opinions through a venue that inhibits open dialogue and honest debate. Far from being receptive to students’ concerns, I regret to inform you that they have repeatedly turned down students’ requests to meet and discuss the issue further. Student leaders with questions about the intent of the sponsorship were repeatedly denied meetings, which does worry me as to their original intent. The consequences of these decisions are clear; a growing number of students on campus feel isolated from the very professors whom they once looked to for guidance, and unnecessarily divided against a large portion of the student body. What’s worse, the cause of this rift stems from administrative and faculty bodies who have, throughout the years, frequently stressed the importance of cultivating campus unity. 

Along with their right to promote certain opinions comes the responsibility to convey these opinions in a proper manner. This is not an opinion of mine, but rather that of the AAUP, a body responsible for defining what exactly academic freedom rights entail. Professors, according to the AAUP, “should exercise appropriate restraint” when speaking about controversial matters, and “should show respect for the opinions of others”. In endorsing a divisive, controversial event while failing to do so in a way that allows our students and faculty to engage in constructive dialogue, the Political Science Department has failed its students miserably. Like the right to free speech, academic freedom rights are not unbounded; the department has basically yelled “fire” on campus, and locked the doors to their department after doing so. By doing so, it has failed to accomplish one of the main benefits of academic freedom rights, that is, the approach of all ideas and issues with an open mind. Such a failure constitutes as a gross abuse of such rights.

Moreover, I find the administration’s slow, halfhearted response to the issue to be appalling. Without any support or sympathy for students’ complaints, the administration seems complacent in a department’s clear abuse of its rights and responsibilities. Furthermore, the administration has failed to consult any student group before issuing its statement in support of the Political Science’s sponsorship decision. I believe this approach to be indicative of the respect, or lack thereof, which they have for students on campus. Whereas I understand its hesitation, the administration has clearly failed to represent and act for its own constituents.

While fully cognizant of the academic freedom rights enumerated to Brooklyn College faculty members, I truly regret the divisive attitude with which both the Political Science Department and the Administration have approached the department’s recent decision to sponsor a BDS event. I sincerely hope that, should a similar scenario occur in the future, the administration act in a more responsible, sensible manner. Regardless of those involved, more respect is due to the students of Brooklyn College."

Please voice your support for Israel and dismay at the official university promotion of the BDS Movement to:

Karen L. Gould 
President, Brooklyn College

bcpresident@brooklyn.cuny.edu

718-951-5671
Other stories
2/20/2017
AUSTIN - A key step was taken last week to help make sure House Bill 89 or Senate Bill 134...
2/20/2017
Undergraduate Adam Rozen-Wheeler along with several other students were looking forward to...
2/17/2017
On February 5, 2017 the Times of Israel published a piece discussing an upcoming “St...
2/16/2017
StandWithUs condemns Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) for hosting Rasmeah Odeh as a keynote sp...
2/16/2017
WASHINGTON—American Jewish leaders are enthusiastically applauding President Do...
2/14/2017
Jewish singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester felt inspired in releasing her new Hanukkah so...
2/13/2017
Stand With Israel" Day Brings SWU and Student Activists to Austin, Texas January 9, 2017 ...
2/13/2017
State governments across the US have taken a more aggressive stance against the anti-Israe...
2/10/2017
Some college students look for causes to take a position on. They wear them as symbols of ...
2/9/2017
Two women of faith from opposite corners of the world are on a mission to spread goodwill,...
2/9/2017
Hussein Aboubakr Mansour`s harrowing journey from oppression to freedom...
2/8/2017
A group of 60 young people concluded a full-day of training preparing them to argue for th...
2/6/2017
Israeli-Arab Yahya Mahamed shares his personal journey to Israel Activism at Limmud Helsin...
2/6/2017
Exactly 15 years ago, on February 1st 2002, Daniel Pearl, a journalist for the Wall Street...
2/6/2017
January 17, 2016. Dafna Meir, of blessed memory, a nurse and a mother of 6, was brutally m...
2/3/2017
On Feb.15 and 16, the Israeli Soldiers Tour will come to the ROTC at University High Schoo...
2/3/2017
A pair of UCLA alumnae have founded a local chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), pa...
2/2/2017
I was in Poland when the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution claiming that...
1/26/2017
Josh Warhit, who made Aliyah and served Israel as a “Lone Soldier” (no relativ...
1/26/2017
I became a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow because I wanted to educate my fellow students about...

 

About Us
Get Involved
Resources
Shop For Israel
Social Media
StandWithUs Websites