The U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) Office for Civil Rights is investigating George Mason University (GMU) for “discrimination involving shared ancestry” following accusations of antisemitism against the school.
In October, GMU investigated an incident in which a student could be seen tearing down posters depicting Israeli children taken hostage by Hamas terrorists on campus. The incident was shared by Jewish advocacy organization Stop Antisemitism, which called the actions “Evil. Antisemitic. Cold hearted.”
GMU responded on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, explaining the conduct did not appear to be criminal, though it violated its student code of conduct.
DOE opened its investigation into GMU Friday, making it now one of dozens under federal scrutiny amid the Israel-Hamas war. The university is also one of several to be added to the list in the last two weeks, joining the University of North Carolina, the University of Illinois and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Other universities already under federal investigation included the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), Cornell University, Columbia University and Rutgers University.
Universities nationwide have come under fire for alleged antisemitism since the Oct. 7 invasion of Israel by Hamas terrorists. The most high-profile controversy arose when the presidents of Harvard, MIT and UPenn failed to say whether calling for the “genocide of Jews” violates their schools’ codes of conduct while testifying before Congress this month.
The testimonies sparked outrage and led to the resignation of UPenn President Liz Magill. Harvard President Claudine Gay also faced intense scrutiny, though the university has come out in support of her.
In a poll conducted by The National Desk (TND), 94% of respondents agreed Gay should be dismissed from the school as accusations of academic plagiarism also began to surface.
In a statement to TND, GMU said its “policies, procedures, and public statements are transparent and well-documented” and it is “confident that the Department of Education’s review will confirm that George Mason University has acted well within the letter and spirit of laws and the First Amendment.”