“Denying a student group recognition based on personal or political differences weakens the legitimacy of any academic institution”
It’s great that Rand Paul is doing this, but why should this even have been an issue in the first place?
The College Fix reports:
Rand Paul asks Duke to stick up for free speech, approve pro-Israel group
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has called on Duke University to officially approve Students Supporting Israel, a Zionist campus advocacy organization.
Paul, who graduated from Duke’s medical school, recently sent a letter that asked university officials to reverse a student government denial of the pro-Israel club.
The student government had issued a rare veto of the organization in November, a denial that not only hurt the student activists who want to advocate for Israel, but also Duke’s overall “legitimacy,” Paul said.
“Denying a student group recognition based on personal or political differences weakens the legitimacy of any academic institution,” Paul said in his January 10 letter.
The student government had issued a rare veto of the organization in November following the pro-Israel group’s message to a student on social media. The student, Elyana Riddick, had accused Duke on Twitter of supporting “settler colonialism” by recognizing the pro-Israel group.
Students Supporting Israel had posted a screenshot, since deleted, of Riddick’s tweet on its Instagram account, along with a comment: “Please allow us to educate you on what ‘settler colonialism’ actually is and why Israel does not fall under this category whatsoever.”
The group did not contact Riddick personally or inform her that her tweet would be shared, she said. She added that the group’s actions “made her feel unsafe expressing her opinion on campus,” in a statement quoted by the Chronicle, Duke’s student newspaper.
Senator Paul said that the group’s public disagreement with a student should not threaten its standing.
“More voices, more viewpoints, and more debate will always be beneficial to the student body,” the Kentucky Republican said. “Robust debate is an important part of college development.”
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