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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Students for Justice in Palestine cleared of discipline for alleged poster damage: release

Rachel Schwartz | Assistant Photo Editor
A Palestine Legal release states GW charged SJP and its president with a student conduct violation “for misconduct related to property” for their protest outside a speaker event with Doron Tenne, a former IDF intelligence officer, at the GW Hillel building.

Officials cleared Students for Justice in Palestine and its president of disciplinary charges last month after officials alleged the students of committing conduct violations in November related to an October postering campaign, according to a Palestinian rights advocacy group. 

Palestine Legal – a Palestinian rights advocacy organization representing SJP in the disciplinary case – said in a release last month that the University found SJP and its president, sophomore Lance Lokas, in compliance with the student conduct code while postering outside of the GW Hillel building to protest Doron Tenne, a former IDF intelligence officer who was speaking at an event hosted by GW for Israel and GW Mishelanu. Lokas and the organization faced disciplinary charges in a December hearing held by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for alleged damage to concrete benches outside of Hillel caused by wheatpasting, a process of hanging posters with a mixture of starch and water. 

The University decision stated Lokas “instructed all participants in the beginning of the event about the guidelines and laws around wheat pasting and that it should occur on public property and not on private property,” and that witnesses who attended the postering campaign testified that Lokas only hung posters on public property, according to the release. 

A University spokesperson did not return request to comment. 

Dylan Saba, a staff attorney for Palestine Legal who supported Lokas and SJP through the hearings, said Jewish Voice for Peace members told the University that a white Jewish member of their organization was responsible for wheatpasting posters on benches outside of the Hillel building following the hearing, which Hillel accused SJP of doing.

Saba said the University issued a “warning” to JVP for its involvement in the protest, which the organization accepted.

“After reviewing the hearing and that additional information, GW issued a finding that cleared Lance and SJP of wrongdoing,” he said in an email.

SJP’s October postering campaign led students in hanging posters around campus reading “Decolonize Palestine” and “Zionists F*** Off.” Adena Kirstein, the executive director of GW Hillel, said in an email to the GW Hillel community following the SRR hearing that the posters caused between $1,200 and $4,500 in damages to the benches outside of the Hillel building and were “very difficult” to remove.

“I have a deep appreciation for free speech and understand that all have a right to express their opinions, even if I disagree with them,” she said in the statement, which was obtained by The Hatchet. “But what crossed a line for me was the placement of these signs on Hillel property.”

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About the Contributor
Faith Wardwell, Senior Staff Writer
Faith Wardwell is a junior majoring in journalism from Boston, Massachusetts. She is a senior staff writer for The Hatchet's investigations team. She previously served as an assistant news editor for the Student Life beat for Vol. 119.
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