We commend the students for their passionate advocacy and for coming together in solidarity on these issues. President Loh has convened a group of his staff to thoroughly review the list of demands and make recommendations accordingly. That process is well underway.
ProtectUMD is a coalition of organizations throughout the University of Maryland’s campus dedicated to uniting the different voices into one voice for change. When the coalition was created, multiple organizations were contacted to participate while others contacted us themselves. Not all organizations chose to be a part of the coalition. ProtectUMD respects this choice. No one organization is in charge of the coalition and as such, the purpose of ProtectUMD is not to prioritize demands but uplift the needs of all marginalized communities. As a result of this, we did not turn away any communities that wished to stand with us.
In the ProtectUMD letter, they kind of indirectly call out JSU for smearing them as anti-Semitic. And the exact quote is, “Administration should support and defend activist groups by nullifying slander and smear campaign from bigger group.” JSU also happens to be one of the largest student groups on campus. “Example: Many members of [Students for Justice in Palestine] were slandered as anti-Semitic for being pro-Palestine.” That is a clear reference, I believe, to our response to the protests at Israel Fest last year. And first of all, if you read my opinion piece in the Atlanta Jewish Times and [JSU President Julia Ring’s] in the Diamondback, you will not see the words “anti-Semitic” anywhere. You will not see us accusing them of hating Jews. We rebuke their positions on Israel, sort of. And we call for why they should not have protested our event. But never do we smear them as anti-Semitic. And I think to call JSU out for that is completely ridiculous.
For All Marginalized Student CommunitiesAccountability for hate speech or action:
For the American Indian Student CommunityFor the Black Student CommunityFor the Latinx Student CommunityFor the LGBTQIA+ Student CommunityFor the Muslim Student CommunityFor the Pro-Palestine Student CommunitiesFor the Undocumented Student Community