New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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NYU releases report on student conduct since start of Israel-Hamas war

In a universitywide email sent yesterday, NYU announced that there have been several student conduct cases since the start of the war, with some students being suspended in cases “related to current concerns.”
Four+police+officers+standing+in+a+line+in+Washington+Square+Park.+One+of+the+officers+is+leaning+on+a+metal+bar+fence.+Behind+them+are+pro-Palestinian+and+pro-Israeli+protesters+congregated+around+a+fountain.
Krish Dev
Police standing outside of a pro-Palestinian rally and counter-protest held on Oct. 17, 2023 in Washington Square Park. (Krish Dev for WSN)

NYU has reviewed more than 90 student conduct cases “related to current concerns” since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, according to a Nov. 30 email to students from university president Linda Mills. Mills said multiple students have faced disciplinary action, including “significant suspensions.”

The email, also signed by Senior Vice President for University Life Jason Pina, included a report on NYU’s efforts to combat on-campus incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia. Mills said more than 60 students “have been involved in cases related to current events,” including cases at the School of Law. She also said university leadership has been reviewing reported incidents, with around half of the cases “at various stages of the process.”

“A number of cases have been closed because there was no NYU-identifiable person responsible for the alleged misconduct or because, upon review, the conduct did not violate our policies,” Mills wrote. “All this to say: just because you haven’t heard about specific outcomes related to specific incidents, do not assume that there haven’t been cases adjudicated, particularly given that in this fraught moment, we are committed to following our procedures.”

The report comes more than a month after NYU announced it would increase Campus Safety and police presence around its Washington Square and Brooklyn campuses in response to student safety concerns. The university has added over 9,000 weekly patrol hours for Campus Safety officers and 1,300 for New York City Police Department officers around campus since the conflict started, according to Thursday’s email. 

Mills said it can be challenging to increase security presence around public property, including sidewalks and Washington Square Park, where many student and faculty-led demonstrations related to the Israel-Hamas war have taken place. In the email, Mills said people unaffiliated with NYU have expressed “the worst sentiments we have seen expressed near our campus.” 

Several pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrations have taken place on campus since Oct. 7, when the Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked nearby Israeli towns, killing around 1,200 Israeli civilians and taking over 200 hostage in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military has since initiated a ground invasion of the region, killing more than 14,000 Palestinians so far, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Israel and Hamas have agreed to a temporary pause to the fighting in exchange for the release of dozens of Israeli hostages and 150 Palestinians held prisoner in Israel.

The email also stated that the university uses the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, which includes “the targeting of the state of Israel,” in its Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment policies and Code of Ethical Conduct. A group representing around 2,000 Israeli NYU alumni recently called for the definition to be incorporated into university policies. 

Since the start of the war, there have been multiple reported incidents of antisemitism, as well as reports of discrimination due to pro-Palestinian speech. In October, the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life said it had received hundreds of reports of antisemitic incidents on campus since the start of the war. There have also been reports of employment discrimination and students being identified online for promoting pro-Palestinian speech. 

Last month, three Jewish students at NYU sued the university for its alleged indifference to incidents of antisemitism on campus, claiming it has violated federal civil rights laws. A day after the students’ lawsuit was filed, the university announced it would establish a Center for the Study of Antisemitism next fall, funded by a million-dollar anonymous donation. Around the same time, a Jewish doctor at NYU Langone Health filed a lawsuit against the medical center for unlawful termination after reposting content related to the war online. 

A physician at NYU Langone faced termination from his residency program last month after reposting content in support of Palestinian resistance on his private Instagram account. At NYU Law, the president of the Student Bar Association was ousted from their position after writing in a message that “Israel bears full responsibility” for the loss of life in the war.

In Thursday’s email, administrators announced that residence halls will hold related training sessions starting next semester, and that NYU will provide a new required course for students in on-campus residence halls to reinforce the university’s non-discrimination policies next fall. They also noted that on-campus programming aimed at combating hate and discrimination is planned for the coming week. 

“As conduct proceedings have progressed, it has been reassuring that, with the benefit of hindsight, some of those students have come to realize the impact that their words and actions have had on our community, and have expressed tremendous regret,” the email reads. “What may have started as taking a side, did so at the expense of our common humanity.”

Contact Bruna Horvath and Yezen Saadah at [email protected].

About the Contributors
Bruna Horvath, News Editor
Bruna Horvath is a sophomore studying journalism and English at CAS. When she’s not a Deputy News Editor, she’s a "Gone Girl" enthusiast, a Goodreads lover, and a Barnes & Noble frequenter. You can usually find her ordering an iced mocha, telling people her name is “Bruna” not “Bruno,” or on Instagram @brunaahorvath.
Yezen Saadah, Deputy Managing Editor
Yezen Saadah is a sophomore studying cinema studies, journalism and Middle Eastern studies. He's a lover of cinema, history, art and literature, and he enjoys writing about pretty much anything. If he isn't in the newsroom or at the movies, he's probably just trying to enjoy his day off. Contact him on Instagram @yezen.saadah, Twitter @yezen_saadah and — most importantly — Letterboxd @Yezen, or just send tips to [email protected].
Krish Dev, Multimedia Editor
Krish is a first-year planning to major in Computer Science and Linguistics at CAS. In his free time, he enjoys posting photos on @krish_dev.creations, obsessing over geography, watching new films with the other Multimedia Editors, taking public transport to new places and letting Arsenal make or break his week.
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