Congress requests documents from UC Berkeley in widening campus antisemitism investigation

Congress requests documents from UC Berkeley in widening campus antisemitism investigation - Education - News

House Education Committee Investigates Antisemitism at University of California, Berkeley: Request for Documents and Allegations of Unaddressed Incidents

The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is now under investigation by the House Education Committee regarding the school’s handling of antisemitic incidents and the protection of Jewish students on campus. On Tuesday, the committee formally requested a comprehensive collection of documents from UC Berkeley leaders.

Representative Virginia Foxx, the Republican chair of the House Education Committee, expressed significant concerns over the university’s response to antisemitic incidents and its failure to ensure a safe learning environment for Jewish students. She cited multiple reported incidents since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel as grounds for this probe, stating, “We have grave concerns about the inadequacy of UC Berkeley’s response to antisemitism on its campus.”

UC Berkeley representatives were not immediately available for comment on this matter. However, the university is one of several institutions currently facing Congressional scrutiny over allegations of antisemitism and mishandled incidents. Previously, Foxx’s committee had requested documents from Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Notably, Harvard has reportedly struggled to comply with the committee’s subpoena for documents.

The recent letter to UC Berkeley requires the university to submit a variety of documents by April 2, including reports detailing antisemitic incidents since early 2021; disciplinary actions taken against students involved in such incidents; minutes from meetings of UC Berkeley leaders; and data on foreign donations.

Last month, an event featuring a former Israel Defense Forces member was disrupted at UC Berkeley when protestors shattered the auditorium’s windows and doors. The university launched an investigation into this incident, but concerns regarding the handling of such incidents remain.

Hannah Beth Schlacter, an MBA student at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, voiced her concerns during a congressional roundtable event last month. She accused the university of fostering an environment where Jewish students are not given equal opportunities to learn and participate in activities, stating, “When you do not call out hate against Jews based on shared ancestral identity, that sends the message to other students on campus that it is okay, socially acceptable, tolerated behavior to actively hate Jews on campus.”

As this investigation unfolds, the House Education Committee will closely examine UC Berkeley’s response to antisemitism and its impact on Jewish students at the university.