✅ Rutgers is under investigation over alleged "ethnic discrimination" on its Newark campus

✅ A student group was suspended for violating the Rutgers Code of Student Conduct

✅ Rutgers said it "stands against antisemitism and against hate"

Rutgers University’s Newark campus is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for "ethnic discrimination" that allegedly occurred after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.

Details of the complaint are not disclosed in the DOE document first reported by Politico.

At Thursday's Board of Trustees meeting, members applauded President Jonathon Holloway for keeping the school out of the headlines regarding conflicts between supporters of Israel and Palestinians.

Holloway said members of his team reached out to campus faith leaders in Newark, New Brunswick and Camden about ways to come together. At the university's Camden campus, an interfaith alliance hosted a daylong event that brought the school together. Holloway said the Newark campus is a different story.

"Most of the heat on these issues has been really generated in the law school and I'll just leave it at that for right now but there are many narratives on many different sides. There's lots of bad information floating around," Holloway said.

Rutgers visitors center in New Brunswick
Rutgers visitors center in New Brunswick (Riju Kaistha)

Students protesting misinformation about Oct. 7 attack

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.”

Amid the overall investigation, the Student Bar Association was suspended — and then unsuspended — by the university after the association tried to impeach Ackerman, according to the New York Post.

Dory Devlin, a Rutgers spokeswoman, acknowledged the DOE investigation in a statement and said the university will cooperate.

"Rutgers stands against antisemitism and against hate in all its pernicious forms. The university strives to be a safe and supportive environment for all our students, faculty, and staff. We reject absolutely intolerance based on religion, national origin, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or political views," Devlin said.

Demands of the Students for Justice in Palestine
Demands of the Students for Justice in Palestine (Demands of the Students for Justice in Palestine via Instagram)

Violations of the University Code of Student Conduct

On Tuesday, Rutgers announced that the student group Students for Justice in Palestine on the New Brunswick campus, was suspended because of violations of the University Code of Student Conduct. Members have disrupted classes, a program, meals, and students as they study, the school said in a statement. The statement also added that the group vandalized a building on campus.

The group, in a statement on its Instagram account, said Rutgers did not give the group any details about the incidents or a chance to challenge the allegations. However, it did admit to holding "peaceful protests" in designated free speech areas.

"These allegations lodged against our group, with no due process, are attempts to silence Palestinian voices and solidarity rather than to maintain campus integrity," the group wrote. They also questioned the timing of the suspension during finals week.

The group accused Rutgers of a "racist double standard" because it allowed the Jewish student group Chabad to post a picture of their protest and called Students for Justice in Palestine members "children of darkness."

The organization may not participate in any university activity or promote university programs without permission from student affairs.

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