Campus Monitor - Connecticut College

Student Voices

  • May 11, 2016 – Connecticut College Jewish Student (Conner) – “My original reaction was shock…my initial reaction was that I was ostracized and singled out for something I associate so personally with and defend each day – Israel.” Read more
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    Antisemitism Tracker

    Total Antisemitic Activity:

    To see more information on how AMCHA determines antisemitic activity, click HERE.
    To report a concern, click HERE.


    Classification Date-Description
    TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: DESTRUCTION OF JEWISH PROPERTY;
    HARASSMENT
    4/19/16 – A flier for a Hillel event entitled, “Jerusalem Food Tour” was defaced with “Jerusalem is occupied and falafel is appropriated.”
    DENIGRATION;
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION
    12/10/15 – A new student group, Conn Students in Solidarity with Palestine (CSSP), put up posters throughout campus which challenged Birthright, a program that sends Jewish students to Israel, and which demonized and delegitimized Israel and students who go on the Birthright trip, calling the trip “settler colonialism.”
    HARASSMENT;
    DENIGRATION
    2/25/15 – A campaign of defamation and harassment was launched by a student affiliated with SJP against Connecticut College professor Andrew Pessin, allegedly in response to his having posted on his Facebook page during the Gaza war, several months before, remarks critical of Hamas. In a coordinated series of op-eds, statements and petitions from students, faculty and community members, Pessin was accused of being racist and condoning genocide, and many demanded that the university take action against him, including by condemning him. At least one student had filed a bias complaint against Pessin for his remarks, which was being investigated by university administrators. Pessin also received a large volume of hate mail, that included death threats, after the allegations against him were made public. As a result of the harassment and defamation, Pessin took a leave of absence from his teaching.
    ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DEMONIZATION 5/11/16 – Conn Students in Solidarity with Palestine (CSSP) posted mock eviction notices in a resident hall at Connecticut College. The notice stated,”Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes is RACIST, is part of a project of ETHNIC CLEANSING and COLONIZATION, and is ILLEGAL.”

     

    In the News ?

    May 16, 2016:
    The Algemeiner – Anti-Israel Students at Connecticut College ‘Occupy’ Office of School President in Protest Over Investigation of Mock Eviction Notices

    May 13, 2016:
    The Algemeiner – BDS Spreads Anti-Semitism Across U.S. Campuses

    May 11, 2016:
    The Algemeiner  – Mock Eviction Notices Accusing Israel of Host of Crimes Plastered Across Dorms of Connecticut College by Pro-Palestinian Student Group

    April 19, 2016:
    AMCHA – A flier for a Hillel event entitled, “Jerusalem Food Tour” was defaced with “Jerusalem is occupied and falafel is appropriated” on April 19, 2016.

    March 4, 2016:
    The Investigative Project on Terrorism – Connecticut College Anti-Semitism Continues; Some Faculty Speak Out

    December 16, 2015:
    Front Page Mag – Welcome to Hamas West, AKA Connecticut College
    (Description note – in response to anti-Birthright, anti-Zionist posters on campus, the administration issued the following email, “To Members of the Campus Community, The conflict in Israel and Palestine is one of the most complex issues today, and one that we as a community have been discussing in classes, in programs and in forums over the last several months. Last week, the student group Conn Students in Solidarity with Palestine (CSSP) placed posters around campus about an international travel program called Birthright. The program sponsors free travel to Israel for young Americans of Jewish descent. We recognize CSSP’s right to share its perspective. Likewise, we acknowledge the right of members of the community to express their disagreement with the posters’ characterization of the Birthright program. We continue to work proactively to open up venues for further dialogue so that diverse points of view can be expressed. We are committed to supporting all members of our community as we navigate these and other complicated issues. We believe that a free and open exchange of ideas—especially on contentious issues of the day—is a hallmark of a vibrant institution and an essential part of a liberal arts education.”)

    December 13, 2015:
    Arutz Sheva – Op-Ed: Challenging the right to ‘Birthright’

    June 25, 2015: The College Fix – A professor who criticized Hamas is being vilified by his university – and people are paying attention

    June 24, 2015: NAS – Connecticut College Must Defend, Not Denounce, Professor Pessin

    June 24, 2015: TheJewishPress.com – A Tale of Two Professors in the Age of Obama (Part One)

    April 17, 2015: The Times of Israel – Target of anti-Israel witch hunt stands up for freedom of speech

    April 16, 2015: The College Voice – Letter to Professor Pessin (Description note, “I wish to formally apologize for the letter that I published in the Connecticut College Voice in early March 2015.  Since then, I have come to the realization that I made a grave error in writing and publishing such an accusatory piece outlining your actions and opinions.  I now understand that I was not operating with sufficient contextual knowledge on the matter, and thus misinterpreted your words. I should like to make it absolutely clear that justice based on the information made available to me by current Connecticut College students was my only goal. I want to stress that I am not an anti-Semite, nor was I operating with any ulterior anti-Israel agenda.”)

    April 15, 2015: The Jewish Voice – The Anti-Israel Intifada on the American Campus (Description note, “Andrew Pessin, Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College, is the latest casualty in the campus-based culture wars.”)

    April 13, 2015: The Washington Post – “Equity and Inclusion” at Connecticut College (see important update)
    (Description note, “Last week, I wrote about the kerfuffle involving false accusations of racism against Connecticut College professor Andrew Pessin. That controversy seems to have arisen out of an effort to shame and silence a rare active pro-Israel voice at the college…Tuesday, April 14, the college will host Fida Qishta, identified as “Documentary Film Maker, ‘Where Should The Birds Fly”: A Film on the Lives of Palestinians Living in Gaza.’” On Thursday, the college will be hosting “A Dialogue on Palestine: History, Context, People: Sa’ed Adel Atshan, Brown University Eva [sic]  Spangler, Boston College.”… Speaking of the anti-Israel speakers, one of them, Fida Qishta, is the former Gaza coordinator for the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-terrorist organization. More specifically, its mission statement proclaims, “We recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle.” Do you believe that bringing such an individual to campus furthers the goals of inclusion and diversity, especially with regard to Israeli students and faculty, whom the ISM believes are legitimate targets of “armed struggle,” i.e., murder?”)

    April 8, 2015: The Washington Post – The hypocrisy and dishonesty of attacks on Connecticut College professor Andrew Pessin (Description note, “Professor Pessin did not realize that Khandaker was not a student who happened to stumble on a Facebook post she misinterpreted and found offensive, but an anti-Israel activist who had founded her high school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. While one can’t tar all chapters with the same brush, in general SJP is a hateful, extremist organization. If there is an overt anti-Semitic incident on a college campus, or real or threatened violence against pro-Israel students, there’s a good chance that SJP members are involved…. Khandaker’s response, “Everything is anti-semitic to people wtf. It’s pissing me off,” is interesting, if only because she is Connecticut College’s student chair of Diversity and Equity for 2014-15.”)

    April 7, 2015: Breitbart News – PROFESSOR TAKES MEDICAL LEAVE AFTER PRO-ISRAEL FACEBOOK POST LEADS TO ‘VICIOUS HATE MAIL’ CAMPAIGN

    April 2, 2015: FOX News – Months-old Facebook post, bathroom scrawl shut down Connecticut college

    March 31, 2015: The College Voice – Campus Forum Leaves Concerns Unaddressed (Description note, “This defense comes a day after Connecticut’s National Public Radio affiliate published an article after speaking with Professor Pessin. The WNPR column notes that Pessin told them, “the entire event has been taken out of context and that the outcry is not about his alleged racism, but is a concerted effort to attack his reputation because of his pro-Israel point of view.”
    Out of all of the speakers,  two students stood up for Professor Pessin. One argued that his words were misconstrued and taken out of context, while another bashed The College Voice for “yellow journalism.” Connor Wolfe ’16 spoke out about the injustices of anti-semitism, before detailing some his opinions about Israel’s political and militaristic situation. Subsequent student speakers channeled his concerns about anti-semitism into a discussion about the well-being of the greater campus community.”)

    March 31, 2015: The College Fix – COLLEGE CANCELS CLASSES FOR RACISM FORUM AFTER PROF’S FACEBOOK POST ON HAMAS

    March 30, 2015: U-T San Diego- Connecticut College cancels classes over racist graffiti

    March 26, 2015: wtnh.com – Connecticut College professor under fire for Facebook post

    March 26, 2015: Change.org – A call to President Bergeron: confront dehumanizing racist speech with institutional counter-speech now!

    March 25, 2015: wnpr – Connecticut College Professor Accused of Racist, Anti-Palestinian Facebook Post (Description note, “The professor, Andrew Pessin, said the entire event has been taken out of context and that the outcry is not about his alleged racism, but is a concerted effort to attack his reputation because of his pro-Israel point of view.”)

    March 25, 2015: Inside Higher ED – Bigotry or Metaphor? (Andrew Pessin, a professor of philosophy, says the students who accuse him of being a racist are deliberately misrepresenting words he used as a metaphor and that he was referring to Hamas, not all Palestinians. Students — in letters to the student newspaper and an online petition — say Pessin dehumanized Palestinians with offensive language….Instead, the apology has been read as an admission of his guilt, he said. And now, he thinks publishing the letters without giving him a fair chance to explain himself was a part of a deliberate tactic to target him for his views. Pessin, who is Jewish, regularly writes and speaks out in support of Israel…There also were several anti-Semitic comments made on campus and via Yik Yak after the letters were first published, Pessin said. He decided this week to take a medical leave of absence for the remainder of the semester, partially due to the stress the accusations against him have caused.”)

    thumbs-up December 31, 2013: UNIVERSITY STATEMENT – CT Academic Institutions React to Resolution to Boycott Israel

     

    Photo Album - Campus Antisemitism

    One of the fake eviction notices posted by CSSP across Connecticut College dorms, May 2016. Source Credit: The Algemeiner

    One of the fake eviction notices posted by CSSP across Connecticut College dorms, May 2016. Source Credit: The Algemeiner



     

    Source Credit: The Amcha Initiative (April 19, 2016)

    Source Credit: The Amcha Initiative (April 19, 2016)



     



    Conn Students in Solidarity with Palestine (CSSP), puts up posters throughout campus, which demonize Israel and challenge birthright. Source Credit: Arutz Sheva (December 13, 2015)

     

    To report antisemitic activity at this or any other campus, you may:

    BDS Tracker

    No divestment vote has taken place.


    BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty


    STUDENT BDS

    Student Group(s) Promoting BDS: 2

    1. SJP
    2. Conn Students in Solidarity with Palestine (CSSP)

    FACULTY BDS

    N/A

     


    AMCHA Activism

    There are currently no AMCHA Initiative campaigns for this campus.