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StandWithUs Statement on GWU Findings re: Title VI Complaint

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

On March 27, 2023, GW announced that its internal investigation into antisemitism in a mandatory psychology course, carried out by a firm that GW selected and hired, has fully exonerated the university. Yet GW apparently has not released the report itself. If the university wants its description of the results of the investigation to be taken seriously, it should release a full copy of the report, rather than the summarized "findings" publicized by GW itself.

The most disappointing aspect of GW’s summary is its blatant whitewashing, yet again, of the discriminatory treatment of Jewish students, as StandWithUs alleges in its Title VI complaint. For example, the administration falsely claims in its description of the report that "[n]o student-interviewees recalled Dr. Sheehi denying that antisemitism exists or denying the students’ lived experiences." This is patently untrue.

Likewise, the administration claims that Professor Sheehi's hateful and obsessive tweets about Zionists and Israelis were "only briefly visible to the public." In reality, according to sources, her Twitter feed, including her blatantly antisemitic rhetoric, were publicly available for many years. It was only after StandWithUs filed its Title VI complaint that the virulently hostile and profane tweets were removed.

Nor does GW's characterization of the remediation process square with what the impacted students actually experienced and reported. The administration's position that students who raise concerns about identity-based discrimination have "a deficiency in a skill or subject matter area" is precisely what makes the process retaliatory here. Furthermore, to claim that this process, which could result in a permanent black mark on these students' records and irreparable damage to their future careers, is neither discriminatory nor disciplinary is at best ignorant of reality and at worst intentionally misleading.

While we had hoped that the GW administration would take this opportunity to begin remedying its pervasive antisemitism problem, its published "summary" demonstrates that it intends only to persist in its course of disregarding the rights of its Jewish and Israeli students. We are particularly appreciative at this time for the existence of federal laws like Title VI and its enforcement by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within the Department of Education, which, unlike GW’s self-serving tactics, is designed to provide students with the impartial and truly independent investigation they deserve.

Click HERE to read StandWithUs’ Title VI Complaint at GW


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