Harvard University is presently being examined by the U.S. Department of Education due to suspicions of civil rights infringements. This investigation stems from reports of anti-Semitic incidents involving students responding to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The federal investigation has been initiated in reaction to grievances regarding antisemitism at the Cambridge, Massachusetts campus, particularly following the terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7th.
A widely circulated incident on campus, wherein pro-Palestinian demonstrators surrounded and harassed a Jewish student, resulted in the filing of reports with both the Harvard Police and the FBI. Harvard was added to the U.S. Department of Education’s roster of Title VI civil rights offenders on Tuesday, under the oversight of the Office for Civil Rights.
Title VI forbids discrimination rooted in nationality, race, or color and extends to instances of harassment linked to an individual’s common ancestry or ethnic traits. On Tuesday, a representative from the U.S. Department of Education verified the investigation into Harvard University.
The spokesperson underscored that the Department refrains from making statements regarding investigations that are still in progress. Following the deadly attacks conducted by Hamas on Israel, various student groups at Harvard composed a letter attributing responsibility for the attacks to Israel.
Following this, those who supported the letter experienced the disclosure of their private details. On the campus, demonstrators supporting the Palestinian cause displayed banners and vocalized slogans calling for the cessation of Israel.
In October, Harvard Business School’s Dean, Srikant Datar, stated that the clash between pro-Palestinian demonstrators, extending from Cambridge onto the campus last Wednesday, and an MBA student from the school has left numerous students deeply unsettled and fearful.
Srikant Datar mentioned that both the FBI and HUPD have received reports, and although the investigation is underway, the outcomes may require some time to become apparent.
Meanwhile, during a Congressional hearing titled “Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Addressing Antisemitism,” leaders from UPenn, MIT, and Harvard are slated to address the committee next week.