NY Gov. Hochul Threatens Universities For Antisemitism Inaction

New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul issued a warning to all universities and colleges in the state that fail to clamp down anti-semitism that’s taking place on campuses.

She said that if they don’t do so, it’ll be in violation of New York’s Human Rights Law, and would result in “aggressive enforcement action”if nothing is done.

This week, Hochul sent a letter to university and college presidents throughout New York. In it, she wrote that any calls for genocide that are made on college campuses would be in violation of not just the state’s law but also the federal Civil RIghts Act of 1964.

This all comes in the wake of a few prominent universities and their leaders failing to denounce the anti-semitism and other calls for genocide against Jews that has happened on their campuses.

Hochul also said that she spoke directly with John King, the chancellor of the State University of New York, so that she could make sure that if this type of behavior were to happen on any of the 62 campuses across the state, it would be in direct violation of the system’s code of conduct.

According to Hochul, King said that it would be. In addition, he affirmed that SUNY is not in any way tolerant of any type of hatred, including antisemitism. He also told Hochul that he spoke with Felix Matos Rodriguez, the chancellor of the City University of New York, who said the same about all CUNY schools.

In her letter, Hochul wrote that if university presidents don’t address antisemitism on campus, they would be in violation of those two major laws. Any school that receives federal funds also are responsible for maintaining a hostile-free environment for all students, regardless of their national origin or ethnicity, she wrote.

And if schools decide not to comply with these laws, they could ultimately be ineligible to receive funds from the federal and state governments.

As she wrote in her letter:

“I assure you that if any school in New York State is found to be in violation, I will activate the State’s Division of Human Rights to take aggressive enforcement action and will refer possible Title VI violations to the federal government. The moral lapses that were evidenced by the disgraceful answers to questions posed during this week’s congressional hearing cannot and will not be tolerated here in the state of New York.”

The hearing that Hochul was referencing was one in which the presidents from the University of Pennsylvania, MIT and Harvard all attended last week. Members of Congress pressed them about antisemitism on their campuses, and the presidents stumbled over their responses – at best.

There was significant backlash against the presidents for their testimony. Liz Magill, the president of Penn, even was removed from her position following the significant backlash, which included threats from major alumni who threatened to pull huge donations and gifts to the school.