Amidst the atrocities brought on by Hamas terrorists targeting Israel, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University took contrasting approaches in addressing planned student rallies related to the Middle East conflict, which was highlighted in an article published on the Center Square.
University of Arizona President Robert Robbins criticized the Students for Justice in Palestine’s (SJP) planned rally, citing the national organization’s endorsement of Hamas’ actions in Israel as “antithetical to our university’s values.” Robbins is quoted in the article:
“The national organization has made statements endorsing the actions of Hamas in Israel, which are, of course, antithetical to our university’s values,” Robbins said in a statement.
“I want to be clear that SJP is not speaking on behalf of our university. But they have the constitutional right to hold their views and to express them in a safe environment,” he said.
In light of Robbins’ statement, the SJP chapter postponed their demonstration, expressing concerns for their safety.
In stark dichotomy, Arizona State University remained neutral. University President Michael Crow refrained from commenting and instead, ASU issued a statement emphasizing the importance of free speech. Author Cameron Arcand writes:
University President Michael Crow has not made a statement himself, and the university stopped short of commenting on any specific campus group.
“The university is aware of the student-led demonstration on our Tempe campus. Students organized and promoted the event themselves. Arizona State University neither endorses nor restricts opinions voiced at campus demonstrations, as a matter of free speech,” the university said in an email statement when contacted by The Center Square.
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