Campus Monitor - Claremont Colleges - Pitzer College

Student Voices

  • May 4, 2017 – Pitzer College J Street Chapter “…we too are deeply disappointed that we and other pro-Israel organizations were not invited to discuss this amendment, and hope to be included in similar conversations in the future. Because there was no advance notice of the vote, there was no opportunity for robust, productive public debate or broader engagement with the issue. If the Student Senate truly seeks an environment that encourages open conversation, it must hold itself to that standard.” Read more
  • April 20, 2017 – Claremont Colleges, Pitzer College, Jewish Student (Mica) “[The circumstances of the vote, occurring] when a significant portion of the student leadership was absent … made clear the intentions to avoid any sort of productive debate. Student Senate leaders should have included the proposed amendment in the agenda prior to the meeting because this is an issue that students on campus are passionate about [and] many would have liked the opportunity to voice their opinions before any vote was called.” Read more
  • April 19, 2017 – Claremont Colleges, Pitzer College Jewish Student (Kate) “[The] lack of transparency from Pitzer Student Senate is disturbing… Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — the group CPIA believes to have been behind the amendment — initiated a ‘secret vote’ that gave students no opportunity to respond.” Read more
  • April 19, 2017 – Claremont Colleges, Pitzer College Jewish Student (Deena) “the [pro-Israel campus] group was given no forewarning of the vote and [the timing] effectively silence[d] the Israeli narrative.” Read more
  • April 19, 2017 – Claremont Colleges, Pitzer College Jewish Student (Jenny) “[The environment at the Claremont Colleges has been] toxic for Zionists since [ Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) programming began earlier this month], but even so, none of us saw this coming.” Read more
  • April 8, 2017 – Claremont Colleges – Pitzer College Student and President of the Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance (Kate) – “Students for Justice in Palestine is using Hate Week as an excuse to carry out a targeted harassment campaign aimed at me, members of my school’s pro-Israel club, the Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance (CPIA), and random Israeli and Jewish students. The very first day that their so-called ‘apartheid wall’ was erected, I visited the wall to take pictures of it. Members of SJP, who were stationed next to the wall, verbally harassed me by name. They called me a racist, a white supremacist, and an advocate for ethnic cleansing. One SJP member took a Snapchat picture of me at the wall and captioned it, ‘Her name is Kate Dulgenos [sic] and she is a proud racist.’ They posted their targeting harassment on Twitter, where it was favorited and retweeted by other members of Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP continued their targeted harassment of me by stealing one of my Facebook profile pictures that had a pro-Israel message and making it their intro slide in a Powerpoint presentation about imperialism, which they gave publicly in a café on campus…” Read more
  • April 7, 2017 – Claremont Colleges – Pitzer College Jewish Student and Executive Board Member for the Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance (Zachary) – “As an organization, we feel strongly that SJP does not speak for a majority of students on campus, that they are using tactics that intimidate students for remaining silent for their pro-Israel views.” Read more
  • April 7, 2017 – Claremont Colleges – Pitzer College Jewish & Israeli Student (Chen) – “I feel as though I have to defend my right to exist, both as a Jew and especially as an Israeli. There is so much misinformation and hatred out there which makes it extremely difficult to engage in any sort of positive, thoughtful conversation.” Read more
  • April 6, 2017 – Claremont Colleges, Pitzer College Jewish Student (Jenny) “ [T]he rise of anti-Zionist ideas on this campus has led to an increase in anti-Semitism…SJP is not pro-Palestinian; they are anti-Israel and anti-Jew. Student members of Zionist and Jewish groups on this campus have been systematically harassed, shamed, and silenced by SJP… On many of the college campuses at the 5Cs, to declare oneself a Zionist is to commit social suicide. SJP promotes a toxic environment that silences an entire population of students… At the Claremont Colleges, what started out as an ‘Apartheid wall’ escalated into the vitriolic call for the Israel to be destroyed, wiped off the face of this planet. During Israeli Apartheid Week, or as the Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance calls ‘Hate Week,’ students who chose to stand up for beliefs that disagree with SJP were vehemently harassed. On countless occasions, pro-Israel and Jewish communities on campus were called ‘ethnic cleansers’ and ‘racists,’ as well as were accused of ‘liking genocide.’” Read more
  • February 26, 2016 – Claremont Colleges Consortium Jewish Students (Aiden, Orren, Stacey and Ben) – “On Dec. 13, 2015, an email from Campus Safety detailing an anti-Semitic death threat at the Claremont Colleges left us disoriented. According to the email, a student was approached at a Harvey Mudd College holiday party and told, “I can tell you are Jewish because of your nose and your hair” before the suspect declared that he wanted to “fucking kill all of you people.”  After receiving the notification, the four of us were unsure how to react and how to move forward. That day, we all spoke on the phone, attempting to locate the source of our confusion, pain, and silence. As we worked to process our own emotional reactions, we heard many students express that the administration had only reacted so swiftly to the incident because ‘Jews are white.’” 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: DISCRIMINATION;
    SUPPRESSION OF SPEECH/MOVEMENT/ASSEMBLY;
    BDS ACTIVITY (BDS VOTE)
    4/16/17 – The Pitzer College Student Senate unexpectedly voted and passed a budgetary amendment on Easter Sunday and the sixth day of Passover that prohibits Student Activities Funds from being used for payment on goods or services from any corporation or organization associated with Israel as outlined on the bdsmovement.net website, which includes major brands such as Sabra Humus, Ahava Dead Sea products, SodaStream, Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard (HP). Many student senators were not present and were therefore unable to vote, due to their observance of Easter and Passover, with 14 senators absent from the meeting. The vote was 22 yes, 0 no’s with 4 abstentions. One senator present said that there was one hour of discussion that followed the amendment’s sudden introduction, but the few dissenting voices in attendance were “intimidated into silence.” According to Jewish students who organized a petition following the sudden vote, “there was no advance warning given about the BDS vote.” The amendment effectively forces the treasurer to scrupulously review student groups’ activities to ensure the senate does not cover purchases made from any of the blacklisted companies.
    HARASSMENT 3/10/16 – A Campus Safety alert was sent out to all students detailing mock eviction notices that were found at Claremont McKenna College, Scripps College, and Pitzer College on March 7th. Posting regulations at all three schools were violated. The alert stated that “students have reported that they felt they were being targeted specifically because they are Jewish.”
    ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DEMONIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS)
    6/17/17 – Claremont SJP released a “Statement on Board of Trustees’ Revocation of BDS Bylaw” to the campus community. The statement demonized Israel and reiterated calls for BDS, exclaiming, “we refuse to give legitimacy to the Board’s statement…The actions of the Pitzer Board of Trustees and its absurd desire for “neutrality” serve as an endorsement of the Zionist occupation of Palestine which effectively enable the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians through support of Israeli companies and institutions…we encourage students of the Claremont Colleges to continue to support the BDS movement.”
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION
    4/11/17 – SJP held the event “Pinkwashing 101 Workshop.” The workshop was co-sponsored by Scripps’ Queer-Allied Student Union and promoted by the Pitzer Student Government with demonizing and delegitimizing language that included: “[I]sraeli pinkwashing is a fundamental structure of apartheid and integral to the lives of queer Palestinians today. Pinkwashing is a deliberate marketing campaign that Israel uses to project an image of queer-friendliness in order to cover up its atrocities of apartheid, genocide, and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.””
    DEMONIZATION 4/7/17 – An article in the school paper (for all the Claremont Colleges) promoted “Israeli Apartheid Week” by demonizing Zionism, stating, “Zionism does mean racism and should be treated as such.” It further described the week’s upcoming events by demonizing Israel, stating, “The events fall anywhere between a workshop on pinkwashing (a strategy employed by Israel that attempts to cover up the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by focusing on Israel’s seemingly open gay life) to a Shakedown Sounds about Borders and Walls.”
    DENYING JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION;
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS)
    3/31/2015 – The Pitzer SJP built a large “mock Israeli apartheid wall” on campus, that included panels falsely accusing Israel of stealing land and apartheid, and promoted BDS and anti-Zionism.
    BDS ACTIVITY: BDS VOTE 4/30/17 – The student government discussed an amendment to the budgetary bylaw that was introduced on April 23 which modifies an April 16 passed budgetary bylaw that stated student funds would not be used on “payments on goods or services from any corporation or organization associated with the unethical occupation of Palestinian territories, as delineated in the boycott list maintained on bdsmovement.net/get-involved/what-to-boycott.” The amendment changed the language to say that student funds would not be used for “payments on goods or services from the following corporations and organizations associated with the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, as first delineated by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement: A. Caterpillar B. SodaStream C. Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories D. Hewlett-Packard E. Sabra.” The updated amendment passed.

     

    In the News ?

    June 16, 2017:
    The Algemeiner – Pitzer College Board of Trustees Overturns Student Government Pro-BDS Vote

    May 4, 2017:
    The Algemeiner – Pitzer College Keeps BDS Resolution Largely Unchanged, Leaving Pro-Israel Students Disappointed

    April 25, 2017:
    The Algemeiner – Wearing My Star of David Necklace With Pride on Campus

    April 23, 2017:
    The Amcha Initiative – A Bill to Amend the Budget Committee Bylaws in Reflection of Pitzer College’s Core Values

    April 22, 2017:
    The AMCHA Initiative – Message to the Pitzer Community from Melvin Oliver

    April 21, 2017:
    The Student Life – Pitzer Senate Passes Amendment Boycotting Select Israeli Products

    April 20, 2017:
    Claremont Independent – Taking Advantage of Holiday Absences, Pitzer Senate Boycotts Israeli Products
    (Description note, “On April 16, a date marking Easter Sunday and the Jewish holiday of Passover, 22 of the 43 Pitzer College Student Senate members voted on and approved an amendment to its “Budget Committee Bylaws” to boycott Israeli products with the entirety of its $270,000+ “Student Activities Funds” budget…Only 26 senators attended the vote, which occurred just one week after “Israeli Apartheid Week” during which Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) placed a “mock Israeli apartheid wall” in the center of campus. 22 senators supported the boycott amendment, while 4 abstained, 0 were opposed, and 17 were absent from the meeting…Despite the concerns of their peers, Claremont SJP released a statement describing the budget amendment as “an important victory.”)

    April 19, 2017:
    The Algemeiner – ‘We Were Ambushed,’ Say Claremont Colleges’ Jewish Students After Senate Passes Sudden Pro-BDS Motion on Passover, Easter Sunday

    April 19, 2017:
    Claremont for Peace – Student Petition to President Oliver Re: Undemocratic BDS Surprise Vote

    April 8, 2017:
    The Times of Israel – Students for Justice in Palestine Promotes Antisemitic Hate

    April 7, 2017:
    The Student Life – SJP Plans Events, Art for ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’

    January 18, 2017:
    The Algemeiner – Student-Made Video on California College Media Dept’s Vimeo Page Mocks Netanyahu’s Defense of Israel
    (Description note – “A student-made video clip on the official Vimeo page of a California college’s media studies department attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by mocking — and taking out of context — statements made by the Israeli leader…The video, reportedly created as part of a project for the Claremont Colleges’ Intercollegiate Media Studies (IMS) Department, claims that Israel is an illegally occupying power that ethnically cleansed the land of Palestinians in the 1948 War of Independence.”)

    November 13, 2016:
    The Student Life – What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for a Two-State Solution

    September 30, 2016:
    The Student Life – A Closer Look at Students for Justice in Palestine

    March 9, 2016:
    AMCHA – Mock Eviction Notices Targeting Jewish Students At Claremont University Consortium
    (Description note – A Campus Safety alert is sent out to all students detailing mock eviction notices that were found at Claremont McKenna College, Scripps College, and Pitzer College on March 7th. Posting regulations at all three schools were violated. The alert states, “students have reported that they felt they were being targeted specifically because they are Jewish.”)

    April 15, 2015: The College Fix – SCHOOL REJECTS ANTI-ISRAEL ‘APARTHEID WALL’ BECAUSE IT VIOLATES ‘AESTHETICS’ (Description note, “Jewish students allegedly complained before wall was rejected Set up to kick off “Apartheid Week” at Pitzer, the wall was intended to raise “awareness about Palestinian suffering and the realities of the Israeli occupation,” the SJP chapter said in a press release.”)

    April 15, 2015: Town Hall – School rejects anti-Israel ‘apartheid wall’ because it violates ‘aesthetics’ (Description note, “Group claims Jewish opposition was the real reason its ‘Apartheid Week’ demonstration wasn’t permitted.”)

    April 6, 2015: Jew Hatred on Campus – Claremont Students for Israel Host Awareness Week on Jew Hatred (Description note – Event focuses on addressing antisemitism on campus: “Claremont Students for Israel will host its final event of the semester on April 27th at Benson Auditorium. At this event, three academics will take part in a panel discussing the rising tide of anti-Semitism throughout college campuses and screen a short clip from Americans for Peace and Tolerance’s newest film, “Privileged Hate: Students for Justice in Palestine.” Whether you agree or disagree with this claim, we hope to start a new conversation about anti-Semitism, Jew hatred, anti-Zionism, and tolerance within college campuses.”)

    April 2, 2015: SJP West – Claremont SJP overcomes censorship attempts to display mock wall on campus

    April 2, 2015: AMP – Tell Pitzer College: censorship is not progressive! (Description note, American Muslims for Palestine petition)

    March 30, 2015: Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance Facebook – Alliance addresses claims made by SJP (Description note – Claremont Progressives for Israel refute SJP attacks against them stating, “The Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance would like to address claims made against us by SJP and students involved in that organization. We rightly stand by our title as a progressive club and find it insulting that SJP would question our political beliefs. Officially, CPIA is in favor of a two state solution and we do want to see peace between Palestinians and Israelis. We find it problematic that our progressiveness is questioned simply because we are a pro-Israel group while ignoring the fact that we are also in favor of a Palestinian state. Secondly, for SJP to delegitimize the struggles that some Jewish students face on campus during IAW is simply ignorant. Many Jewish students should feel upset when their beliefs are attacked in a disruptive and antagonizing manner, especially when the week dedicated to denying Israeli exceptionalism coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover. SJP has yet to announce why two of their events occur during the observance of Passover, but regardless the reason it is legitimate for some Jewish students to see this as evidence of SJP’s cultural and religious insensitivity. Also, it is naive for SJP to not understand some Jewish students’ concerns when we have seen on our own campus and campuses across the country how quickly anti-Israel sentiments turn into anti-semitism. Thus it is legitimate for CPIA to provide students with the number for campus security in the possibility of an anti-semitic event. Lastly, IAW blatantly ignores the larger problem bestowed upon the Palestinian people by not recognizing the role that Hamas plays in the conflict. For example, Hamas built the terror tunnels made out of concrete donated from Israel and they plan to reconstruct the ones destroyed by the IDF over summer. A blockade on Gaza is therefore necessary to prevent the creation of more tunnels that result in the deaths of both Israelis and Palestinians who construct the tunnels. Ultimately we hope that students are able to engage in constructive dialogue this week and learn more about Middle-Eastern politics.”)

    March 30, 2015: Conscious – Pitzer Students for Justice in Palestine to Display Mock Israeli Apartheid Wall Despite Campus Attempts to Censor Its Speech (Description note- Pitzer SJP write, “SJP is dismayed at apparent attempts by Pitzer College to stop the display of the wall. When a group of SJP members met with the Pitzer Dean of Students about their plan to display the apartheid wall, the Dean told them he was concerned someone may attempt to damage the wall or “burn it down.” He told them that someone would inevitably submit a formal complaint about the wall being ‘discriminatory.’ He also told SJP they would need approval from the Campus Aesthetics Committee. SJP’s proposal was rejected without formal explanation….The accusation that displaying a mock Israeli apartheid wall would target Jewish students is an attempt to divert the conversation away from the human rights policy issues SJP is attempting to raise; SJP’s activity targets the Israeli state, not any individual.”)

    March 27, 2015: Conscious – A Week in Claremont, A Lifetime in Palestine (Description note – Pitzer SJP write, “The main accusation made in the press release is that Israeli Apartheid Week and our club in general represent threats to the emotional psyche and security of Jewish students across campus. This logic holds that our criticism of the continuing policies of an occupying government, the right-wing zionist regime controlling Israel and occupied Palestine, represent a criticism of all Jews.”)

    March 25, 2015: Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance Facebook – Urgent Press Release (Description note, “Claremont, CA, March 25, 2015– Today after weeks of speculation, the Pitzer club Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) confirmed the occurrence of “Israeli Apartheid Week” which will take place next Monday, the 30th of March. The weeklong event full of anti-Israel sentiment will run through the first day of Passover, which will commence the evening of April 3rd. The anti-Israeli episode is a major threat to the psyche of Jews across campus especially before their Passover celebrations commence.”)

     

    Photo Album - Campus Antisemitism

    Source Credit: SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit:  SJP's Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

    Source Credit: SJP’s Apartheid Wall at Pitzer College March 31, 2015, photographed on campus, pulled from Jew Hatred on Campus

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

    BDS Tracker

    June 16, 2017 – Pitzer College Board of Trustees – Failed (previous amendment nullified) – Pitzer Board of Trustees nullifies the Student Senate’s BDS budgetary bylaw changes made at the end of April.

    April 16, 2017 – Student Government – Passed – The Pitzer College Student Senate unexpectedly voted and passed a budgetary amendment on Easter Sunday and the sixth day of Passover that prohibits Student Activities Funds to be used for payment on goods or services from any corporation or organization associated with Israel as outlined on the bdsmovement.net website, which includes major brands such as Sabra Humus, Ahava Dead Sea products, SodaStream, Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard (HP). The vote was 22 yes, 0 no’s with 4 abstentions. Many student senators were not present and were therefore unable to vote, due to their observance of Easter and Passover, with 14 senators absent from the meeting. The amendment effectively forces the treasurer to scrupulously review student groups’ activities to ensure the senate does not cover purchases made from any of the blacklisted companies.


    BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty


    STUDENT BDS

    Student Group(s) Promoting BDS: 1

    SJP

    FACULTY BDS

    Number of Faculty Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel: 1

    1. Daniel Segal