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HomeNewsWhy Did Rutgers Uni Suspend Its SJP Chapter?

Why Did Rutgers Uni Suspend Its SJP Chapter?

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Rutgers University suspends SJP
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On December 12, Rutgers University took a surprising step by suspending its Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter. As expected, this raised many questions, and many would like to understand precisely why they did this. 

According to the university authorities, they temporarily suspended the group because of several policy violations. The associate Dean of Students, Michelle Jefferson, wrote in a letter:

“You allegedly have had multiple cases of disrupting classes, a program, meals, and students studying.” He also mentioned that these acts give the university “a reasonable basis to conclude that the continued activities by the student organization pose a substantial and immediate threat to the safety and well-being of others.” 

These allegations are severe, so the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights opened an investigation. The university’s chancellor, Francine Conway, also had much to say about this issue. 

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A letter he wrote to the community reads, “In recent weeks, our campus has witnessed a wide range of gatherings and events in response to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Some of these events have been characterized by moments of unrest that have caused members of our community to fear for their safety.

“While Rutgers–New Brunswick is a public institution that protects and values free speech and an open exchange of ideas, this exchange cannot come at the expense of individual and campus safety. Below, I offer clarification of the university’s policies and procedures for responding to incidents of unrest,” he continued.

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In addition, “One recent incident that occurred at the Rutgers Business School facility in Piscataway has raised questions about the use of academic buildings and the disruption of activities therein.”

Concerning the students’ identity and the investigation update, he said, “In the meantime, I can share only that, as with other related incidents, individual students and a student organization have been notified of possible conduct violations. The review process for conduct violations is ongoing and confidential.”

Surprisingly, Rutgers University is not the first to take disciplinary action against SJP. Columbia University, Brandeis University, and George Washington University also recently took severe action against their SJP. 

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However, Rutgers is the first public university to do this. Many would say they pushed authorities to do this. The SJP has gone too far on campus, doing things like occupying a faculty for an entire night. While the school stands for free speech, they also have to consider the safety of other university members. 

New Jersey rep. Josh Gottheimer also agrees with this suspension. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), he wrote, “All students have a right to be safe from threats of violence & hate of any kind on college campuses. When 1,200 were murdered, raped, & burned alive by Hamas terrorists, the Rutgers’ SJP chapter labeled Oct. 7 as ‘justified retaliation.”

He added, “I love Rutgers — it’s better than this.”

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