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News & Media

APLU Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism

December 12, 2019

Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement regarding President Trump’s Executive Order concerning anti-Semitism on college campuses.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in our society and it certainly has no place on our college campuses. As we’ve noted, the public university community forcefully and emphatically denounces all acts of anti-Semitism and affirms the importance of the Jewish community on our campuses. Public universities remain committed to combatting the alarming rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes that have plagued our nation.

“Sadly, some of the most sinister elements of society have grown more comfortable emerging from the shadows in recent years with purposeful, hate-inspired misinformation and lies seeking to sow anti-Semitism in others. Public universities must and will be relentless in their efforts to ensure all students, faculty, and staff, including those who are Jewish, always feel safe and welcome on campus regardless of race, religion, nationality, disability, sex/gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

“Public universities are also bound by the First Amendment and have a legal and ethical obligation to permit constitutionally-protected speech. The First Amendment remains unchanged and indeed the Executive Order instructs that agencies shall not diminish or infringe upon such fundamental rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

“While the First Amendment means students may be subjected to a vast array of viewpoints, including those that may be abhorrent and antithetical to public universities’ values, it certainly does not mean students must be subjected to discrimination or that public university leaders sacrifice their voice in condemning anti-Semitic vitriol.”

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