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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Granberg bolsters campus security, condemns identity-based mistreatment on campus

She said officials are increasing GWPD patrols and outdoor space monitoring and assigning additional security officers.
Sage Russell | Assistant Photo Editor
University President Ellen Granberg at a September Faculty Senate meeting.

University President Ellen Granberg condemned “casual bigotry” on campus and announced bolstered security and support resources Tuesday as the Israeli military expands ground operations in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement Tuesday, Granberg said she was “alarmed” to hear reports of identity-based mistreatment on campus after meeting with Jewish, Muslim and Arab community members over the last few weeks and reinforced her denouncement of local and international displays of antisemitism and Islamophobia. She said officials are increasing GW Police Department patrols and outdoor space monitoring, assigning additional security officers and working with D.C. and federal resources to secure campus and assess the University’s exposure to ongoing and upcoming activism in D.C.

Granberg said the beginning of Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza puts more lives at risk and worsens the “already dire” humanitarian crisis.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Saturday that the Israeli army moved to the second phase of military operations in Gaza, planning to “destroy” Hamas militants and return more than 200 hostages held in Gaza. As of Tuesday, more than 8,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry, and about 1,400 Israelis, per the Israeli military.

“Many of us are deeply and personally impacted by these events,” Granberg’s message states. “Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we stand together as a community.”

She encouraged community members to report instances of bigotry so that “appropriate actions” may be taken, referring students to GW’s Bias Reporting System or the Student Conduct Incident Reporting Form, and faculty and staff to the Offices of Faculty Affairs and Equal Employment Opportunity and Access. She said officials consolidated health, safety, support and security resources on one page for community members to access.

“In past statements, I have made it clear that I condemn the terrorist attack on Israel and all forms of antisemitism and Islamophobia,” Granberg’s message reads. “Protecting and preserving our shared community, however, must go beyond making statements.”

Granberg’s statement comes nearly a week after her Wednesday response to four members of Students for Justice in Palestine projecting anti-Israel messages like “Glory to our martyrs” and “GW the blood of Palestine is on your hands” onto Gelman Library on Tuesday. A GWPD officer on the scene told the students to take down the projections at the direction of Dean of Students Colette Coleman. In a statement following the demonstration, Granberg said the projections were antisemitic and a violation of GW policy.

The projections generated intense backlash from politicians, advocacy groups and GW alumni and donors who urged Granberg to take disciplinary action against the students involved and threatened to stop their donations to the University. The day after SJP’s demonstration, officials postponed the first part of GW’s annual Diversity Summit and bolstered security at the library.

In her statement Tuesday, Granberg said she directed GW leadership to increase support resources for religious, fraternal and political groups on campus and training for faculty and staff on student support, especially for those affected by the conflict. Granberg also asked officials to reconcile the need to preserve the right to free speech with their responsibility to uphold community values, per the statement.

“Let us show the world that you can condemn terrorism and also grieve for all of its innocent victims,” Granberg’s statement reads. “You can take a stance for what you believe in while recognizing other perspectives and experiences.”

Earlier this month, Granberg condemned “celebration of terrorism” on campus in a statement, the day after SJP members held a vigil to honor Palestinians who had been killed by the Israeli military where some speakers said Hamas’ attacks were a form of resistance to Israeli colonialism. SJP released a 10-slide statement via Instagram roughly five hours after Granberg’s condemnation, criticizing her characterization of their vigil.

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