University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill may have lost a $100 million dollar donation for her university, and she definitely lost her job after failing to answer the straightforward question from Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) at a Congressional hearing, if calls for genocide against Jews violates UPenn’s code of conduct. The Congressional hearing was held to address Harvard, MIT and UPenn’s response – or lack thereof – to rabidly antisemitic incidents on their campuses since Oct. 7.
While all three university presidents condemned the October 7 slaughter of Israelis by Hamas and affirmed Israel’s right to exist – each one refused to state categorically that calling for the genocide of Jews on campus violates their schools’ codes of conduct, each preferring to answer that it depends on the context.
On Saturday, Magill tendered her resignation amidst reports of an emergency university board meeting to be held on Sunday, according to CNN Business. Donors and alumni have been outraged at the growing antisemitism on campus and Magill’s failure to deal with it satisfactorily, including how she answered at the hearing.
Harvard, UPenn, MIT presidents would not give a straight answer to @RepStefanik's question on whether calling for the genocide of Jews constitutes bullying and harassment against Jewish students. pic.twitter.com/wPJaVGw2eK
— House Committee on Education & the Workforce (@EdWorkforceCmte) December 5, 2023
At the hearing, Magill (smiling the entire time) explained, “If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment, yes.”
Pressed on specifically calling for the genocide of Jews, she replied to Congresswoman Stefanik, “If it is directed, severe and pervasive, it is harassment.”
Pressed again, “so the answer is yes?” Magill again ducked the issue responding with the now infamous, “It is a context-dependent decision, Congresswoman.”
Pressed once more, the UPenn president replied, “If the speech becomes conduct, it can be harassment, yes.”
Stefanik retorted, “Conduct meaning committing the act of genocide? ….This is unacceptable, Ms. Magill.”
Yes, it is.
Content by Hana Levi Julian was used in this report.