Campus Monitor - Ohio State University

Student Voices

  • February 27, 2017 – Ohio State University Jewish Student (Rebecca) “Last year, here at Ohio State, members of the pro-Israel community (Senators and regular students alike) were harassed and taunted after leaving the BDS vote. I personally asked one of my friends to walk me home — I was scared of the angry protesters waiting outside the Senate chamber.” Read more
  • October 13, 2016 – Ohio State University Jewish Student (Unnamed, from Brandeis University Report on Campus Antisemitism “My freshman year I lived in a dorm. I once opened my door to my next-door neighbor drawing a swastika on my door.” Read more
  • August 18, 2016 – Ohio State University Jewish Student & Former President of Bobcats for Israel (Diana) “To hear what people were saying about the Jewish students, telling them to get out of the room and calling us ‘fascists’ and ‘Nazis,’ it was just a lot of commotion. People even started cheering when Becky was arrested.” Read more
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    Antisemitism Tracker

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    Classification Date-Description
    TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: INTIMIDATION 11/21/16 – In a promotional Facebook posting of an event, “But, I am Palestinian,” SJP/JVP intimidated student government officials stating that if they do not come to the SJP/JVP event before embarking on a trip to Israel, they would have “no right in representing us.” Additionally, a student senator affiliated with SJP threatened to track which student senators attended the SJP/JVP event and attempt to impeach any student senator that doesn’t attend the event.
    GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION;
    INTIMIDATION
    3/22/16 – An Ohio State University student threatened to murder every person on his campus if the college did not join the BDS movement. Cailin Pitt posted on his twitter account prior to a BDS vote:”Yo if USG messes this up tomorrow I’m coming for everyone’s life tomorrow. Every one. Every single, blessed life. Every one.”
    GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION;
    HISTORICAL
    7/30/15 – A report revealed that a book of parody songs by OSU’s marching band, most recently updated in 2012, included an antisemitic song with jokes referencing the Holocaust and Nazi concentration campus.
    ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DEMONIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS)
    3/2/17 – An article in the school paper argued in favor of an upcoming divestment resolution by demonizing and delegitimizing Israel stating, “If you find personal stake in the fight against racism, imperialism and settler-colonialism, voting “Yes” on Issue 2 is in your best interest…If you are​ against racism, you must be anti-occupation.”
    DEMONIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (BDS EVENT)
    OSU Divest held the teach-in event “A New Generation of Jewish Students: Divestment on Campus.” The advertisement for the event stated, “Jewish students can and should unapologetically support OSU Divest.” During the event, two of the speakers demonized Israel by falsely accusing the state of “genocide.”
    DENYING JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION;
    DEMONIZATION; BDS ACTIVITY (BDS EVENT)
    11/16/16 – SJP, OSU Divest and OSU Coalition for Black Liberation co-held the event “BLM, Palestine & Global Solidarity Ft. Kristian Davis Bailey.” During the event, the first presenter called for BDS. The main speaker, Kristian Davis Bailey, demonized Israel, falsely accusing Israel of committing a massacre in Gaza, and called for BDS. She additionally called for the right of return, which would deny Jews self-determination and effectively eliminate Israel as a Jewish state.
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS)
    10/26/16 – OSU Divest held the event, “Why Feminists Should Support OSU Divest.” During the event, the speaker delegitimized Israel, claiming that Israel was an illegitimate state due to its “violent and militaristic claims,” that it is a “settler-colonial” state, as well as called for divestment.
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (BDS EVENT)
    3/22/16 – Committee for Justice in Palestine held the event, “BDS Workshop: Learn More About Divest!” The advertisement for the event read, “End Occupation, End Apartheid, Refugees Right of Return”
    DEMONIZATION 11/6/15 – Committee for Justice in Palestine published a demonizing Facebook Post that accuses Israel of harvesting organ of dead Palestinians.
    BDS ACTIVITY: BDS VOTE 3/9/17 – A divestment initiative drafted by OSU Divest: Buckeyes for Human Rights (including anti-Israel divestment with Human Rights issues) went to a campus wide vote. The initiative failed with 4,084 votes against and 3,843 votes in favor.
    BDS EVENT 3/6/17 – OSU Divest held the event, “FacebookLIVE Q&A hosted by OSU Divest” to answer the campus community’s questions regarding a divestment resolution.
    BDS EVENT 3/3/17 – OSU Divest held the event, “The Case for Divestment,” which was billed as “a collaborative event put on by OSU Coalition for Black Liberation, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voice for peace.”
    CALLS FOR BDS 2/27/17 – The President of JVP published an article in the school paper entitled “Opinion: The Jewish case for Ohio State divestment.”
    BDS VOTE 2/21/17 – The USG Judicial Panel approved the petition signatures tallied by OSU Divest, and the divestment resolution entitled “An Initiative to Divest from Companies that Profit from Human Rights Violations” is scheduled for a campus-wide vote on March 6-8.
    CALLS FOR BDS 2/17/17 – OSU Divest collected 2,391 signatures – more than the required amount – to put their divestment initiative on the upcoming election ballot. The petition signatures were submitted to the Undergraduate Student Government for verification.
    CALLS FOR BDS 1/21/17 – OSU Divest began collecting undergraduate student signatures in order to put a BDS initiative on the ballot so that the undergraduate student body at large will be able to vote on the issue later in the semester.
    BDS EVENT 11/16/16 – OSU Divest held the event, “Humans of OSU Divest.”
    BDS EVENT 11/8/16 – SJP held the event “Palestine Awareness Week: Our Voice Matters,” whose stated goal was “educating those interested about BDS.”
    BDS EVENT 11/2/16 – OSU Divest held the event, “The Christian Case for OSU Divest.”
    BDS EVENT 10/10/16 – OSU Divest held the event, “Divestment 101.”
    CALL FOR BDS 4/6/16 – Members of Committee for Justice in Palestine (who spearheaded OSU Divest) participated in a sit-in in front of President Drake’s office demanding OSU provide full access to the annual budget and a financial adviser to detail exactly where those funds are being spent and what corporations OSU is supporting. OSU Divest reiterated that they want to divest from companies doing business with Israel, and seeing where the money is being spent will help build their divest campaign.
    BDS VOTE 3/23/16 – The university’s student government discussed a BDS resolution, and voted against the resolution with nine in favor, 21 opposed and 15 abstaining.
    BDS EVENT 3/21/16 – OSU Divest hosted a “Divestment Town Hall” in which an anti-Israel divestment resolution was promoted.
    BDS EVENT 3/3/16 – OSU Divest held the event, “Why Divest? An Open Forum for Divestment.”
    CALLS FOR BDS 12/6/15 – “Stop the Sellout” sent a list of demands to OSU President Drake that included a demand for the university to divest from Israel.
    BDS VOTES 2/25/15 – OSU Divest submitted a petition to the undergraduate student government to put an anti-Israel divestment initiative on the Spring elections ballot.

     

    In the News ?

    March 24, 2017:
    Jewish Telegraphic Agency –  Ohio State Hillel is anti-BDS, not anti-LGBT

    March 12, 2017:
    The Algemeiner – For Third Time in Two Years, Ohio State Students Reject Anti-Israel Divestment Motion

    March 12, 2017:
    Jewish Telegraphic Agency – University of Illinois, Ohio State reject divestment measures

    March 10, 2017:
    Cleveland Jewish News – Ohio State student government divestment issue fails

    March 9, 2017:
    The Lantern – Andrew Jackson, Sophie Chang win USG election
    (Description note, “A divestment ballot measure was defeated by less than 250 votes, and a measure to change parts of USG’s constitution — most notably affecting campaign finances — was passed by more than 4,000 votes. On Wednesday night, before results were in, backers of the divestment measure hailed what they saw as a victory in increasing awareness for their cause. ‘We started buzz like nothing before — you wouldn’t believe how many emails and DMs and conversations we’ve had with people who were tentatively against divestment, who then became supporters,’ read a Facebook post from OSU Divest: Buckeyes for Human Rights. Those on the ‘No’ campaign said they have raised concerns about the fairness of the vote to USG’s Judicial Panel — namely that the link in the online ballot portal for more information on Issue 2 went to OSU Divest’s website, and that the voting form regarding Issue 2 didn’t appear in full on smart phones during part of the voting period.”)

    March 5, 2017:
    The Lantern –  Ohio State Hillel putting weight, staff, money behind USG ballot issue

    March 2, 2017:
    Cleveland Jewish News – OSU divestment issue on student government ballot

    March 1, 2017:
    The Lantern – Opinion: Voting ‘yes’ on Issue 2 is a vote against racism

    February 27, 2017:
    The Lantern – Opinion: The Jewish case for Ohio State divestment

    February 27, 2017:
    The Lantern – Opinion: The dangers of divestment

    February 24, 2017:
    The Lantern – Divestment, sanctuary campus discussed at USG candidate forum; only three of four candidates invited

    (Description note, “The only contentious exchange of the night came when the topic of divestment came up. Broadly, divestment is the act of removing an investment from companies that one finds problematic. Specifically on the USG ballot this year is an initiative calling for divestment of OSU’s financial ties from two companies connected to private prisons in the U.S. and three companies whose products are used by the Israeli Defense Forces in the occupied Palestinian territories. The topic of divestment regarding the occupied Palestinian territories has become highly politicized and come up at several universities nationwide. Leila Elaqad, a fourth-year in sociology and an organizer for OSU Divest — one of the student organizations backing the ballot issue along with the OSU Coalition for Black Liberation — directly asked Honaker and Gracia, who oppose divestment, if they would support it if Issue One, the ballot initiative for divestment, were to pass.”)

    February 8, 2017:
    The Lantern – OSU Divest seeking spot on USG ballot again

    February 2, 2017:
    The College Fix – Chants of “From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go” at a protest, 1:58 minutes in video

    November 20, 2016:
    Hypeline – Students for Justice in Palestine openly threatens pro-Israel students

    August 19, 2016:
    Cleveland Jewish News – BDS on Ohio campuses: fading, morphing

    June 3, 2016:
    The Columbus Dispatch – Ohio State divestment decisions handed over to Trustees

    April 13, 2016:
    The Lantern – Letter to the Editor: Alumni stand in support with #ReclaimOSU

    April 11, 2016:
    The Lantern – #ReclaimOSU support swells

    April 7, 2016:
    The Lantern – Faculty members pen letter of solidarity following #ReclaimOSU protest

    April 6, 2016:
    The Lantern – Students stage sit-in for university transparency

    March 30, 2016:
    The Columbus Dispatch – Education Insider: Tweet on Israel divestment was slang, not threat, Ohio State student says

    March 30, 2016:
    Cleveland Jewish News – OSU divestment issue fails for second time

    March 24, 2016:
    Arutz Sheva – Student threatens mass murder if Ohio Uni doesn’t support BDS
    (Description note, “An Ohio State University student threatened to murder every person on his campus if the college does not join the BDS movement. Cailin Pitt posted on his twitter account prior to a BDS vote:’Yo if USG messes this up tomorrow I’m coming for everyone’s life tomorrow. Every one. Every single, blessed life. Every one.'”)

    March 23, 2016:
    Indy Bay- OSU Divest Responds to Efforts by Members of Congress to Intervene in Campus Divestment

    March 23, 2016:
    Arutz Sheva – Student threatens mass murder if Ohio Uni doesn’t support BDS

    December 6, 2015:
    “Stop the Sellout” sends a coalition letter to President Drake regarding coal, real food and included a divestment demand of “To withdraw its investments in entities (ie. Boeing, Caterpillar, etc) complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories until they are no longer engaged in the violation of human rights and other practices that fail to adhere to the Ohio State’s endorsed Principles of Responsible Investment.”

    September 22, 2015: New Voices – Ohio State moves forward from Holocaust song controversy

    August 7, 2015: Cleveland Jewish News – OSU marching band hits offensive note with anti-Semitic song (Description note, “Its lyrics include: “Nazi’s here, Nazi’s there, Nazi’s Nazi’s everywhere! / Hitler lives in Tampa Bay, doo dah, doo dah. / Hitler lives in Tampa Bay, Oh (expletive) A. / Kill the Jews all night, Kill the Jews all day. / Hitler lives in Tampa Bay, Oh (expletive) A.”)

    August 2, 2015:
    The Jerusalem Post – Ohio State Marching Bands Nazi Song Draws Jewish Ire

    July 31, 2015:
    DailyMail.com – Ohio State marching band had book of offensive songs including one that referenced Nazi concentration camp furnaces and ‘cattle trains’ used to transport Jews to their deaths

    July 30, 2015:
    The College Fix – REPORT: Ohio State band’s parody songs mocked jews burning in ovens, Nebraska fans’ ‘cornholes’

    July 30, 2015:
    The Wall Street Journal – Holocaust Victims Mocked in Ohio State Band Parody Songbook
    (Description note, “A book of parody songs last updated in 2012 and circulated privately by members of the Ohio State University marching band included a sendup of the Holocaust with joking references to furnaces used in Nazi concentration camps and the train cars used to transport Jews to their deaths”)

    April 2, 2015:
    Jewish Federation of Columbus – BDS movement ups activity on Ohio Campuses
    (Description note, “The students talked of their recent success of blocking a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) resolution on campus.A divestment resolution that was to appear on the election ballot for the undergraduate student government at OSU was removed March 8 after it was found to be in violation of the student government’s constitution and election bylaws. A group called OSU Divest organized the divestment resolution…Three members of the Undergraduate Student Government Judicial Panel resigned after calling for a special election once the initial resolution failed to be on the ballot. Facing impeachment, they resigned before the General Assembly could vote on the matter. The housecleaning means that, at least for now, there won’t be a special campus election on the “Issue 1” divestment issue.”)

    March 26, 2015:
    The Lantern – 3 USG justices resign after being threatened with impeachment
    (Description note, “there will be no special election on the divestment issue, or “Issue 1,” said USG President Celia Wright, a fourth-year in public health….The USG Judicial Panel announced the vote March 11. This announcement was part of the accusations leading to the impeachment, according to a resolution that brought forth the suggestion of impeaching some justices, titled “articles of impeachment.” The justices were accused of overstepping their constitutional boundaries by declaring a special election, which is not mentioned in the USG bylaws. The three justices faced impeachment but resigned before the General Assembly could vote on the impeachment articles.”)

    March 19, 2015:
    Cleveland Jewish News – Solon woman elected president of OSU undergrad government
    (Description note, “As for the OSU Divest initiative that has been stirring controversy on campus, Grossman said she believes the judicial panel handled the situation poorly and that she doesn’t believe the initiative should have been taken off of the ballot. “That is not something Abby and I had any part of but it is something we will work on to figure out how to handle it and how we can better the procedure,” she said. “We don’t necessarily believe how it was handled right before the election started was necessary or professional by the judicial panel. We want to make sure that all students’ voices are heard. That’s very important to me and Abby.””)

    March 19, 2015:
    Cleveland Jewish News – No special election for divestment initiative at OSU

    March 13, 2015:
    The College Fix – STUDENTS COULD VOTE ON ISRAEL DIVESTMENT BECAUSE ACTIVISTS WERE INCOMPETENT
    (Description note, “Anti-Israel activists at Ohio State University couldn’t follow the rules when they turned in a divestment petition for the 2015 student government election, so they did the next best thing: complain their way to getting a special election.”)

    March 13, 2015:
    The Lantern – Buckeye News Now: Ohio State students divided over divestment

    March 12, 2015:
    The Lantern – Special election pending for divestment issue
    (Description note, “Although Issue 1 didn’t get placed on the ballot for the 2015 Undergraduate Student Government election, Ohio State students might have the chance to vote on the issue in a special election later this month.The USG Judicial Panel announced on Wednesday in a press release that the vote will take place from March 30 through April 1, pending approval from the USG General Assembly.”)

    March 11, 2015:
    Cleveland Jewish News – OSU student government divestment proposal KO’d

    March 10, 2015:
    The Lantern – Letter to the editor: Judicial Panel acted within its rights
    (Description note, “I am not here to discuss the decision made in the Clerk vs. OSU Divest (2015) decision. I actually recused myself from the case in accordance with the USG Constitution Article 3, Section D, Subsection 1, Clause d, because my father works for one of the six companies OSU Divest is trying to “divest” from. I felt that would cause me to render an impartial decision, so I took myself off the case….I am here, rather, to discuss the controversy surrounding the Judicial Panel and its actions with the bylaws and the consequences of its decision in Clerk vs. OSU Divest….The precedent being set here is deplorable. What Wright and Lacure are setting here is not democracy, but a form of bullying and censorship. The Judicial Panel released a decision that was unpopular by a vocal minority, and their response is to impeach the Chief Justice. Does this mean every time somebody is upset with a decision, we are just going to get rid the Chief Justice? That is not justice, that is not fair, that is an abuse of power. This would require the JP to only issue favorable opinions in fear of getting impeached by the General Assembly and the president and vice president. We cannot allow that to happen. That is the true limiting of free speech and justice.”)

    March 10, 2015:
    The Lantern – Letter to the editor: Taking issue off of the ballot was undemocratic, unfair

    March 10, 2015:
    The Lantern – Letter to the editor: Don’t vote in the USG elections unless divest issue restored to ballot

    March 9, 2015:
    The Lantern – Divestment issue won’t appear on USG ballot

    March 9, 2015:
    The Lantern – Letter to the editor: Removing divestment issue from ballot an unfair, devastating decision on USG’s part

    March 9, 2015:
    The Lantern – USG committee challenges panel’s decision on divestment issue

    March 9, 2015:
    The Lantern – Divestment issue won’t appear on USG ballot

    March 4, 2015:
    The Lantern – Letter to the editor: Vote no on proposal to end ties with companies that do business with Israel

    March 2, 2015:
    The Lantern – Letter to the editor: USG election offers Ohio State students chance to vote on divestment

    February 8, 2015:
    The Lantern – Conference brings pro-Israel advocates to OSU

    January 29, 2015:
    #OSUDivest – OSU Students Announce Divestment Campaign

    January 6, 2015:
    The Jerusalem Post – Combating the BDS movement – one campus leader at a time

    January 10, 2014:
    The Lantern Ohio State opposes Israeli higher education boycott

    December 24, 2013:
    OSU.edu Statement of The Ohio State University On Proposed Boycott of Israeli Higher Education

     

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    BDS Tracker

     
    March 8, 2017Failed – A divestment initiative drafted by OSU Divest: Buckeyes for Human Rights (grouping anti-Israel divestment with Human Rights issues) that went to a campus wide vote failed with 4,084 votes against and 3,843 votes in favor. 

    March 23, 2016Defeated – The university’s student government voted against a motion to support BDS on Wednesday, with nine in favor, 21 opposed and 15 abstaining.
     
    March 13, 2015: Fails – A divestment petition which garnered signatures in order for there to be a divestment referendum failed due to a technicality.


    BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty


    STUDENT BDS

    Student Group(s) Promoting BDS: 2
    SJP
    Ohio State Divest
    Committee for Justice in Palestine

    FACULTY BDS

    Number of Faculty Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel: 9

    1. Thomas S. Davis
    2. Chris Highley
    3. Pranav Jani
    4. Koritha Mitchell
    5. Jan Nespor
    6. Martin Ponce
    7. David Ruderman
    8. Patricia Stuhr
    9. Kerim Yasar

     


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