Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Pennsylvania University Notified of Further Federal Probing into Campus Jew Hatred

The United States House of Representatives notified University administrators that a Congressional investigation into Penn spanning six committees would begin following concerns over alleged “ongoing and pervasive acts of antisemitic harassment and intimidation” on campus.

In a letter delivered on June 3 to Interim Penn President Larry Jameson and University Board of Trustees Chair Ramanan Raghavendran, Congressional committee chairs stated that the investigation would focus on “the use of federal funds at Penn and its learning environment under authorities granted to each Committee.”

A University spokesperson declined to comment.

The announcement follows a press conference by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) on May 2, where he announced that Congress would be launching a housewide investigation into antisemitism on various college campuses across the nation.

The letter claimed that Congress would “not stand idly by and allow an environment hostile to Jewish students to persist” and alleged that Penn violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. It emphasized that Congress would not allocate federal funds to “indoctrinate students into hateful, antisemitic, anti-American supporters of terrorism.”

The letter was signed by the chairs of six House committees; namely, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Committee on Ways and Means, the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. 

“Over the course of several months, the Committee has made great strides in its antisemitism investigation. Having additional committees join the fight in a House-wide initiative is a force multiplier,” Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) wrote in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian. “Each Committee is conducting oversight into this issue through the lens of its unique jurisdiction in partnership with one another. Together, Congress is holding colleges and universities accountable from all sides.” 

The letter also provided details on the jurisdiction of each committee and included the angles from which they would be investigating Penn.

“Postsecondary education is a unique opportunity for students to learn and have their ideas and beliefs challenged,” the letter said. “However, universities receiving hundreds of millions of federal funds annually have denied students that opportunity and have been hijacked to become venues for the promotion of terrorism, antisemitic harassment and intimidation, unlawful encampments, and in some cases, assaults and riots.”

The House committee chairs alleged that the University had failed to “ensure a safe learning environment for all students” and that “the inability or unwillingness to rectify this violation through action requires accountability.”

“The fight against antisemitism is not a partisan issue. The undersigned Committee chairs are proud to conduct this work with substantial bipartisan support and will not rest until the facts are known,” the letter concluded.

In December 2023, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce opened an investigation into Penn’s handling of antisemitism on campus. The House Ways and Means Committee launched its own investigation into Penn’s tax-exempt status in January over alleged negligence in protecting Jewish students on campus.

https://www.thedp.com/article/2024/06/penn-new-antisemitism-investigation-by-six-house-committees