Opinions, Letters To The Editor

LTE: BC Students For Justice In Palestine Supports Northeastern University Counterpart

On Feb. 24, Northeastern University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) activists distributed mock eviction notices in dormitories to raise awareness for the human rights violations perpetrated in Palestine. Less than two weeks later, on March 7, the Northeastern University (NU) administration suspended the student organization and charged two young women of color with “endangering behavior.” These two women, the only members to receive such charges, now face expulsion. Other members, mostly Arab and Muslim students, are subject to police interrogation, as NU treats distributing leaflets as a criminal act.

These asinine reactions to self-expression by the university fill us with disgust and other university students from the Boston area witness NU’s actions with embarrassment. NU has humiliated itself by bending to the whims of organizations like Americans for Peace and Tolerance who orchestrate campaigns like “Shame on NEU” in response to student activism. Instead of combating this inappropriate rhetoric, President Aoun has yielded to a handful of racist and radical students, electing instead to persecute the victims of slander and libel. Not only has NU displayed cowardice in the face of Zionist criticism, but also incredible racism and intolerance through scapegoating students of color, Arab students, and Muslim students.

Boston College Students for Justice in Palestine stands not only in support and solidarity with NUSJP and persecuted Arab and Muslim students at the university, but with all student activists whose voices have been silenced by lobbyists and ulterior motives of trustees. NU’s actions are reprehensible and we call on the administration to drop immediately all charges against the two students in question, cease the disproportionately aggressive and discriminatory interrogation of its students, and reinstate normal club status for Students for Justice in Palestine, ensuring that SJP is no longer held to a more stringent standard than other organizations all without forcing leadership to conform to demeaning and unfair conditions of reneging on their moral obligations and positions.

As men and women for others, SJP at BC urges all BC students to take a stand against this violation of students’ rights by signing this petition or by contacting Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun at presidentaoun@neu.edu. Boston College is watching, Boston-area universities are watching, and the rest of the world is watching. What we see is horrendous and as a community of student activists, we will not accept such an affront to our freedom of expression.

Boston College Students for Justice in Palestine

March 18, 2014