Big-money donors turn on NJ university because of what students are doing
🚫 NJ natives stop donating to Rutgers
🕍 Couple worried about campus antisemitism
💵 Wealthy donors have given generously in past
Two Rutgers University alumni have stopped generous donations to the school amid their concerns over how recent anti-Semitism has been handled on campuses.
Marvin and Eva Schlanger have contributed more than $130,000 to their undergraduate alma mater over the past 10 years, according to tax filings cited in a report by WHYY.
The nonprofit Eva and Marvin Schlanger Family Foundation is based in Florida, where the New Jersey natives now reside.
After the Israel-Hamas war erupted, the Schlangers became troubled over a particular story involving an Orthodox Jewish law school student at Rutgers-Newark, according to the WHYY report.
‘Zero due process’
As reported by NorthJersey.com, Yoel Ackerman complained about a video shared to social media by the Rutgers Student Bar Association, which he said was filled with misinformation about the start of the war in October.
Ackerman, a first-year Rutgers Law student, was then the subject of an inquiry into his conduct, during which, he told NorthJersey.com, "I have been given zero due process throughout.”
A Rutgers spokesperson told the Record and NorthJersey.com that “Rutgers does not comment on the conduct of the internal affairs of student groups.”
Amid the overall investigation, the Student Bar Association was suspended — and then un-suspended — by the university after the association tried to impeach Ackerman, according to the New York Post.
"Rutgers stands against hate in all its forms, including antisemitism and Islamophobia. It is our aim to ensure that Rutgers is a safe place where students and others enjoy the right to voice their opinions without fear of retribution and where every member of our community is free from intimidation," a Rutgers spokesperson said in a separate statement to NJ 101.5 on Friday.
Rutgers administrators still silent
The same NorthJersey.com report said that college students at Rutgers are among a growing number who have reported seeing an increase in anti-Semitic and volatile behaviors and activities.
In a conversation with New Jersey 101.5 on Friday, Marvin and Eva Schlanger said they have been disappointed by the continued silence of Rutgers administrators and the University's Board of Directors.
The Schlangers said they are both very grateful for the Rutgers education they received — Marvin at the College of Engineering in New Brunswick, Eva as a liberal arts graduate from the Newark campus.
They said they want to continue to give back to their alma mater, but there has been no response on how the university intends to keep students safe and handle rising issues efficiently and even-handedly.
"Students have to be protected, every student should be free of threat and intimidation," Marvin Schlanger said.
"We don't want this out there, lingering and wondering what is the administration going to do, is it not going to do anything," Eva Schlanger added. "You know, there's this giant question mark hanging over the university, as far as I'm concerned."
"The university understands that donors make personal decisions about their support of the university, but we believe that it would be inappropriate to comment on those individual decisions," the Rutgers spokesperson also said in response to NJ 101.5.
By Friday, a week-long truce in the Israel-Hamas war had expired and military operations had resumed.
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