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New Yale president, Maurie McInnis, received high marks for handling of protests at Stony Brook

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New Yale president, Maurie McInnis, received high marks for handling of protests at Stony Brook

As Maurie McInnis prepares to take the helm at Yale College, Jewish leaders on Lengthy Island and at Stony Brook College, the place the artwork historian has been president since 2020, praised her for avidly defending free speech whereas additionally defending Jewish college students amid the anti-Israel campus protests which have roiled the New York faculty.

At Yale, after a spring semester gripped by protests and encampments, the chief director of the college’s Slifka Heart for Jewish Life, Uriel Cohen, expressed hope that when McInnis takes over the New Haven campus in July, changing outgoing President Peter Salovey, the “campus local weather [will return] to 1 by which mutual accountability and respect are as soon as once more hallmarks of the Yale group,” he advised Jewish Insider

Throughout her tenure at Stony Brook, a SUNY public college in Suffolk County, McInnis “dealt with the encampments very properly,” Mindy Perlmutter, government director of the Jewish Neighborhood Relations Council Lengthy Island advised JI. 

When encampments sprung up within the spring — and included antisemitic exercise resembling inhibiting the power of Hillel to host its annual Jewish American Heritage Month celebration — McInnis stated that anti-Israel demonstrations that adjust to faculty coverage might be permitted to proceed. Finally, she shut down the encampments on Might 2 after 22 Stony Brook college students, two college members and 5 others had been arrested for violating numerous legal guidelines. 

Stony Brook Hillel’s government director, Jessica Lemons, stated that McInnis, who earned grasp’s and doctoral levels from Yale within the Nineteen Nineties and would be the college’s twenty fourth president — and first lady within the submit — “will depart behind huge sneakers.” 

“Since October, our campus has seen dozens of protests, anti-Israel occasions and tables, incidents of doxxing, harassment and intimidation of Jewish college students, and far of what different campuses across the nation are seeing,” Lemons stated.

“It has by no means been our expectation that our college president would have the ability to eradicate antisemitism, however moderately that she and her administration would do their greatest to assist college students on campus, abide by guidelines set forth by each the primary modification and Title VI, and create a superb establishment of upper studying. By our measure, I imagine President McInnis has finished that,” Lemons continued. 

Lemons famous that McInnis needed to make “a lot of powerful choices — a few of which have made her unpopular with each side of the difficulty — in an effort to function many college students as attainable and make sure the security and sanctity of our campus.” 

Along with shutting down encampments, these choices embrace an Oct. 10 assertion condemning Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist assaults and an announcement on Oct. 31 condemning the following rise of antisemitism.

On Might 13, the Stony Brook School Senate narrowly defeated a movement to censure McInnis for her dealing with of the arrests, by a vote of 55-51. The School Senate additionally voted to demand the college drop prices for these arrested through the protests, however McInnis defended her response. 

Rabbi Adam Stein, who leads Stony Brook Chabad, stated that “the Jewish group discovered consolation that McInnis didn’t excuse [antisemitism], versus on different campuses the place it was excused and inspired.” 

“She defended freedom of speech and freedom of meeting however when all that translated to lawlessness, she didn’t cut price with demonstrators and meet their calls for, she simply had them arrested,” Stein stated. 

Imani Chung, a rising senior who’s energetic in Stony Brook’s Israel on Campus Coalition chapter, echoed that McInnis “did properly with the encampments specifically.” 

“She requested them to depart a number of occasions earlier than the arrests,” Chung stated, including that she and her associates had been spat on by the anti-Israel demonstrators. 

Beneath the management of McInnis, Stony Brook secured a $500 million donation from Jim Simons’ Simons Basis (the second-largest present to a public college in U.S. historical past), in addition to a $700 million bid to steer the New York Local weather Trade campus on Governors Island. 

Lemons stated, “I’ve been enormously glad together with her and her staff’s work to allocate security sources, work collaboratively and talk about alternatives for anti-bias schooling.”  

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