Education

Lawmakers in US to propose antisemitism monitor for universities in bipartisan bill

A bipartisan bill is said to be introduced in Congress that shall allow the Department of Education to set up an antisemitism monitor at colleges and universities that receive federal funds.   

The move has come amid a wave of pro-Palestinian protests at colleges across the nation. Moreover, sponsors of the legislation state that an antisemitism monitor is required to protect Jewish students from discrimination. Schools shall be forced to comply with the monitor, who would publicly publish public reports, or else they’ll lose federal funding.   

The COLUMBIA Act, or the College Oversight and Legal Updates Mandating Bias Investigations and Accountability Act, is known to allow the secretary of education to appoint a monitor who would be tasked with “evaluating” in detail the progress that a college or university has made for combating antisemitism on campus, along with issuing policy recommendations to Congress, the Secretary, the state, and local regulators as required.   

Recently published data showed the occurrence of both antisemitic discrimination and Islamophobic discrimination amidst the Israel-Hamas war. Similarly, the Department of Education has launched various investigations regarding discrimination claims of both kinds at US schools.   

It was at Columbia University in New York City, where their University President, Nemat Shafik, addressed a gathering of Washingtonians that the upheaval concerning the Israel-Hamas war started. It was when he spoke about antisemitism on college campuses and how the Ivy League school planned on fighting it.  

On the following day, after her testimony, pro-Palestinian students held a protest on the Columbia campus and placed a couple of tents at the center of that campus to express Gaza solidarity by naming it a “Gaza Solidarity Encampment.”  

They insisted on the college cutting its ties with Israel, corresponding with the fighting.

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Nilanjana Basu
Nilanjana is a lawyer with a flair for writing. She has a certification in American Laws from Penn Law (Pennsylvania University). Along with this, she has been known to write legal articles that allow the audience to know about American laws and regulations at ease.

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