Donate Shop Register Volunteer


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

[email protected]

718-951-5671
Other stories
2/9/2016
About two-dozen people file into Dodd 175 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UC...
2/9/2016
During his previous post as Israeli deputy minister of foreign affairs, Danny Ayalon spear...
2/9/2016
In June 2014, three Israeli teenagers were abducted by Palestinian terrorists, who picked...
2/8/2016
As a first-year student at Brandeis University, the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored sch...
2/8/2016
SAN DIEGO - Two black South African students who traveled to Israel to learn if South Afr...
2/8/2016
YU`s solidary mission`s hands-on work strengthens emotional bonds...
2/8/2016
American singer and actress Jennifer Lopez is facing boycott backlash on Twitter after a r...
2/8/2016
StandWithUs strongly condemns musician Ted Nugent for posting blatantly racist content on ...
2/5/2016
It is not every day one encounters a Cairo-born Muslim Arab, carefully taught to view Jews...
2/4/2016
Activists from left-wing Jewish groups scattered across the city on February 2 to distribu...
2/4/2016
Complexity, nuance and the possibility for empathy with Israelis are the real targets of t...
2/4/2016
An article in the Jan. 27 Sentinel detailing the Orlando-area billboards about Israel mad...
2/4/2016
The situation facing Jewish and pro-Israel students on Scottish campuses is a microcosm of...
2/4/2016
The 3200 block of University Boulevard in east Orange County has become a battleground ove...
2/3/2016
Winter in Israel, Jihad in Jerusalem and Stabbings in the Old City....
2/3/2016
This morning, 10,000 copies of a fake New York Times were handed out across Manhattan - a...
2/3/2016
A pro-Israel advocate cited instances of swastikas being spray painted on Jewish fraterni...
2/2/2016
A member of the Scottish Parliament has said the country`s Jewish community has “sta...
2/2/2016
The publication proclaimed Hillary Clinton had quit the campaign and the US would debate a...
1/29/2016
University of Waterloo students have voted No in a referendum that called on the universit...

 

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