Department of Education Launches Investigation into Antisemitism Allegations at University of Vermont

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The US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has opened a formal civil rights investigation into allegations of antisemitism at the University of Vermont (UVM).

According to a complaint filed by the Brandeis Center in October 2021, UVM’s Hillel Center was vandalized and Jewish students who embrace Zionism were harassed by a teaching assistant and expelled from student clubs, including UVM Empowering Survivors, a sexual assault awareness group. Hostility toward Jews, the Brandeis Center said, was so severe that Jewish students concealed their identities and weighed leaving the university altogether.

“Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously.” 2 Samuel 2:10

Landscape shot of the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt. Photo: AlexiusHoratius/Wikimedia Commons.

The US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has opened a formal civil rights investigation into allegations of antisemitism at the University of Vermont (UVM).

According to a complaint filed by the Brandeis Center in October 2021, UVM’s Hillel Center was vandalized and Jewish students who embrace Zionism were harassed by a teaching assistant and expelled from student clubs, including UVM Empowering Survivors, a sexual assault awareness group. Hostility toward Jews, the Brandeis Center said, was so severe that Jewish students concealed their identities and weighed leaving the university altogether.

Ultimately, the complaint continued, the exclusion of Jewish students based on the Zionist element of their identity has denied them “equal access to educational opportunities and services,” violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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