University apologies after fallout over mock eviction letters sent to Jewish students

Posted at 6:39 PM, Apr 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-06 18:39:50-04
06 APR 19 15:56 ET

Atlanta, GA (WGCL) — CBS46 first reported about these mock eviction notices that some Emory University students found on their dorm room doors Tuesday.

The flyers were signed and stamped by the university, an approved form of protest from a Pro-Palestinian Justice group on campus. The flyers speak out against Jews in Israel and several Jewish students on Emory’s campus told CBS46 they felt the flyers were targeted at them.

Wednesday, Emory officials told CBS46 they had no evidence that any student group was targeted and that the flyers were originally approved under open expression policies. They were removed because they violated posting guidelines the university set.

“When we saw that statement, our hearts sank,” said Allison Padilla-Goodman, the Regional Director at Anti-Defamation League. “We could not believe how unapologetic and unsympathetic that statement was…The original statement that they issued is totally inadequate. It doesn’t denounce the hurt and the pain. It doesn’t address the investigation or the questions that are pending as to why a flyer like this would have been approved,” she went on.

More displays highlighting the Palestinian plight were posted across the campus as the student group behind the flyers held a week of events.

CBS46 has been in contact with the Students for Palestinian Justice but have not received a statement explaining the intent of the flyers and requests for interviews went unanswered Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile the Anti-Defamation League told CBS46 it would be meeting with Emory University President Claire Sterk about the issue, Friday.

“We still don’t know whether Jewish students were targeted with a flyer or not,” Padilla-Goodman told CBS46. “We need Emory to respond more forcefully and unequivocally apologizing for what happened, denouncing what happened,” she said.

Friday afternoon, President Sterk issued a statement saying in part:

“Emory’s commitments to creating an environment where all members of the community feel safe and protected and to upholding free speech and vigorous debate remain unquestioned. Emory stands firm against all forms of racism and intolerance…I believe that this week’s events exposed several flaws in our process for the approval, authorization, and distribution of flyers. I don’t want to prejudge the outcome of our investigation or prescribe changes before we know all of the facts. But I’m confident we will balance the need to protect free speech and the security and dignity of all in our community.”

Sterk went on to apologize for any pain that Emory may have caused. She did not mention when the investigation would be complete.

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