Penn President Liz Magill will testify before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce about addressing antisemitism on college campuses.
Magill will join Harvard University President Claudine Gay and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth as majority witnesses, according to a press release Tuesday morning. The committee hearing — titled “Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism” — will take place on Dec. 5 at 10:15 a.m.
“Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen countless examples of antisemitic demonstrations on college campuses. Meanwhile, college administrators have largely stood by, allowing horrific rhetoric to fester and grow,” Committee Chairwoman Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said.
In the press release, Foxx said the hearing was intended to shine a "spotlight" on campus leaders and demand they take action to combat antisemitism.
"President Magill understands the critical importance of fighting antisemitism and other forms of hate on Penn’s campus and looks forward to sharing the actions Penn is taking at next week’s hearing," a University spokesperson told The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Earlier this month, the United States Department of Education opened investigations into Penn and six other schools over alleged instances of antisemitism and Islamophobia.
A University spokesperson previously confirmed to The Daily Pennsylvanian that Penn received a letter from the DOE, informing them of the investigation and said that the University looked forward to cooperating fully.
The DOE investigation came a week after the Brandeis Center, a Jewish legal rights advocacy group, filed a federal complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the DOE, alleging that Penn failed to respond to the harassment of Jewish students.
The Brandeis Center's discrimination complaint alleges that Penn violated Title VI by nurturing a hostile environment against Jewish students and failing to protect them from harassment, representing a violation of the statute. The Center also filed a similar complaint against Wellesley College.
Previously, the DP reported that over 20 Congress members sent a letter to Magill, which criticized the University's response to Hamas' attack on Israel. The letter was sent on Nov. 1 and asserted that the administration’s response was untimely and put the University’s moral compass and commitment to counterviolence in question. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) was the lead Congress member in the effort to send the letters.
Magill recently announced a University-wide action plan to combat antisemitism on campus, emphasizing increased security and education. While many commended the plan, some students told the DP that they wanted to see follow-through from the University or a stronger commitment to combating Islamophobia on campus.
The House hearing comes after multiple antisemitic incidents have occurred on Penn's campus since the start of the fall semester.
These incidents include a spray-painted swastika discovered in Meyerson Hall in the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and an unknown individual who overturned furniture and vandalized Penn Hillel while shouting antisemitic rhetoric.
A vacant property run by Campus Apartments — next door to the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity chapter house at 4040 Walnut St. — was vandalized with antisemitic graffiti on Oct. 20. DPS previously wrote to the DP in a statement that they will investigate the incident as “a potential hate crime.”
Magill has condemned antisemitism multiple times since the Palestine Writes Literature Festival and that Hamas attack on Israel.
"I stand, and Penn stands, emphatically against antisemitism," Magill wrote in a statement on Oct. 15. "We have a moral responsibility — as an academic institution and a campus community — to combat antisemitism and to educate our community to recognize and reject hate."