We covered the NYU “Dorm Storming” by Students for Justice for Palestine.

It’s now received national attention through Greta Van Susteren, who I think did a good job in this interview with Laura Adkins at focusing on the provocative nature of the act.

That’s something we’ve focused on. Of course it’s part of a greater BDS movement to demonize Israel, but it’s also an attempt to intimidate students in their bedrooms.

Local ABC News reports (if video doesn’t load, click on link):

It violated NYU rules, which protect the privacy of students. If NYU takes no action, which is what I expect, then it has rendered students captives in their own dorm rooms. Rowan v. U.S. Post Office Dept., 397 U.S. 728, 738 (1970)

“We therefore categorically reject the argument that a vendor has a right under the Constitution or otherwise to send unwanted material into the home of another…. That we are often ‘captives’ outside the sanctuary of the home and subject to objectionable speech and other sound does not mean we must be captives everywhere.”

So what is NYU going to do?

Brush it under the rug, and refuse to enforce the rules as to SJP that apply to everyone regardless of content? Fox News reports:

NYU spokesman John Beckman said in a statement that the university encourages free speech but not when it’s meant to “simply provoke.”

He said in a statement that a flier titled “eviction notice” and anonymously slipped under doors at night “is not an invitation to thoughtful, open discussion.”

“It is disappointingly inconsistent with standards we expect to prevail in a scholarly community,” the statement said.

Beckman said officials would talk with students in the affected dormitory halls, Lafayette and Palladium, and will “follow up appropriately.”

My email to NYU’s spokesman seeking clarification on what steps, if any, NYU will take in response to this clear and deliberate rule violation, has not been returned as of this writing.

We have seen a rising tide of provocations on campus, and maybe those need to be tolerated in the interest of open discussion. But universities should draw the line somewhere, and the dorm room door is that place.


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