Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) recently celebrated the resignation of University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill. The former university president stepped down from her position at the Ivy League school following intense backlash after a Congressional hearing last week.
Magill was heavily criticized for failing to give a satisfactory answer to Stefanik, who questioned if calls for genocide against Jews constituted a violation of UPenn’s conduct policy. Stefanik pressed Magill if “calling for the genocide of Jews violate[s] Penn’s rules or code of conduct? Yes or no?”Magill responded, “If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment, yes.” She later added, “It is a context-dependent decision.”
“This is unacceptable. Ms. Magill, I’m gonna give you one more opportunity for the world to see your answer. Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn’s code of conduct when it comes to bullying and harassment? Yes or no?” Stefanik further questioned.
Rep. Stefanik took to social media, applauding Magill’s resignation while calling out other prestigious institutions. The congresswoman indicated that further action needs to be taken to address the fervent antisemitism that is plaguing the country’s institutions of higher learning. Stefanik warned colleges that they can expect investigations into improper handling of antisemitism on their campuses while specifically calling on Harvard and MIT to “do the right thing.”
“One down. Two to go,” Stefanik shared on X. “This is only the very beginning of addressing the pervasive rot of antisemitism that has destroyed the most “prestigious” higher education institutions in America. This forced resignation of the president of @Penn is the bare minimum of what is required. These universities can anticipate a robust and comprehensive Congressional investigation of all facets of their institutions negligent perpetration of antisemitism including administrative, faculty, funding, and overall leadership and governance.” Stefanik added, “@Harvard and @MIT do the right thing. The world is watching.”
“In the case of @Harvard, Dr. Gay was asked by me 17x whether calling for the genocide of Jews violates Harvard’s code of conduct. She spoke her truth 17x. And the world heard.” The U.S. Representative continued, “In the case of @MIT, Dr. Kornbluth answered the question. “If targeted at individuals, not public statements” ie dehumanizing the Jewish people in her antisemitic answer.”
Board of Trustees Chairman Scott L. Bok, who also resigned from his position with the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in a statement Saturday that Magill had resigned. “I write to share that President Liz Magill has voluntarily tendered her resignation as President of the University of Pennsylvania. She will remain a tenured faculty member at Penn Carey Law,” he wrote.
Dr. Gay recently apologized for her former comments on antisemitism, clarifying that it has no place on Harvard’s campus. “I’m sorry,” she said in an interview with the Harvard Crimson student newspaper. “What I should have had the presence of mind to do in that moment was return to my guiding truth, which is that calls for violence against our Jewish community — threats to our Jewish students — have no place at Harvard, and will never go unchallenged.”
Featured image credit: Office of Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:President_Trump_Signs_Stefanik_Initiatives_into_Law_at_Fort_Drum.jpg
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