College president ‘disappointed’ after student council rejects pro-Israel group
search

College president ‘disappointed’ after student council rejects pro-Israel group

Maud Mandel of Williams College says ‘transcript of debate and vote indicate that the decision was made on political grounds’

Maud Mandel, the president of Williams College, speaking at the Association of Jewish Studies conference in Boston, Dec. 16, 2018. (Tim Correira)
Maud Mandel, the president of Williams College, speaking at the Association of Jewish Studies conference in Boston, Dec. 16, 2018. (Tim Correira)

The president of Williams College has criticized a decision by the student council not to recognize a pro-Israel campus group.

Last month, the council at the small liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts voted not to admit the Williams Initiative for Israel as a recognized student group.

In a statement last week, the college’s president, Maud Mandel, said that the “transcript of the debate and vote indicate that the decision was made on political grounds.”

“I’m disappointed” that the council did not follow “its own processes and bylaws,” she said, noting that the council’s bylaws do not mention political views as a criterion for student group recognition.

The student council voted on April 23 against recognizing the pro-Israel group after student activists expressed concerns about its support for Israeli policies regarding Palestinians. It is the first time in over a decade that a student group was rejected after complying with council bylaws, minutes from the meeting show, according to the Williams Record student newspaper.

Molly Berenbaum, one of the leaders of the pro-Israel group, said the students wanted to provide another point of view on campus.

“I do think that some of being a student is encountering intellectual ideas that make one very uncomfortable,” she told the Record. “And I think that the answer to encountering those ideas is to engage with them and to respond with your own perspective rather than try to shut down and silence that information.”

Mandel said the Williams Initiative for Israel would still be able to operate on campus and access all services available to student groups per university policy.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments