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In fiery exchanges, lawmakers and university heads clashed over responses to campus antisemitism

·1 min

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s hearing on campus antisemitism Thursday came with no shortage of fiery exchanges between lawmakers and the heads of three universities. Unlike two prior hearings, this was the first to take place after a wave of pro-Palestinian encampments spread across campuses nationwide, disrupting learning and commencement ceremonies and causing many students to feel unsafe. Here are some of the most important takeaways from the hearing: The presidents of Northwestern University, Rutgers University, and UCLA negotiated with protesters instead of authorizing police to disband encampments, which received considerable rebuke from lawmakers. Some found their approaches admirable, while others critiqued them for not taking more action. One lawmaker questioned Northwestern’s president about an incident of antisemitism, but no students have been expelled or suspended so far. The universities are actively investigating various alleged acts of antisemitism, with some individuals being suspended or facing disciplinary actions. The university heads learned from prior hearings and were careful in their responses to avoid taking a stance on divisive issues or being cornered into giving definitive statements. Overall, the university heads at the hearing gave lawyerly responses and refrained from commenting on specific individuals.