December 9, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul to College and University Presidents: Calls for Genocide of Jewish People Violates New York State and Federal Law

Governor Hochul to College and University Presidents: Calls for Genocide of Jewish People Violates New York State and Federal Law

In Letter, Governor Says State Will Enforce Violations of Human Rights Law and Refer Violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to Federal Officials

Builds on Governor’s Continued Action to Protect New Yorkers Following Surge in Hate and Bias Crimes

Governor Hochul's Letter Can be Viewed Here

Governor Kathy Hochul issued a letter to the presidents of colleges and universities across the State of New York saying calls for genocide made on college campuses are a violation of New York State Human Rights Law as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This letter follows the Congressional Hearing on Antisemitism where several university presidents failed to clearly and unequivocally denounce antisemitism and calls for genocide on college campuses.

The Governor assured New York State will enforce violations of the State Human Rights Law and will refer violations of Title VI to federal officials. Calling for genocide would be considered a direct violation of the State University of New York and the City University of New York’s Code of Conduct, and Governor Hochul made clear that all colleges and universities in the state are expected to apply the same standard, and to have a clearly defined and well publicized mechanism for individuals to report complaints.

On December 8, Governor Hochul announced the letter at Shabbat Services at Temple Israel, the site of a gun incident and subsequent arrest earlier this week. The Governor also visited Temple Beth Emeth in Albany to share a message of solidarity and made clear that New York State has no tolerance for hate and violence on college campuses.

Following a surge in hate and bias incidents in the weeks following the October 7 Hamas terror attacks, Governor Hochul deployed all available New York State resources to protect New Yorkers in at-risk communities and on college campuses. The Governor also announced that Judge Jonathan Lippman will conduct an independent third-party review of the City University of New York’s policies and procedures related to antisemitism and discrimination, and produce recommendations for how all colleges can better protect the safety of their students.

The full text of Governor Hochul's letter is below:

To: New York State College and University Presidents

This week, like many Americans, I was shocked to see the presidents of several prominent universities – current leaders that are responsible for educating young minds who will grow into the leaders of tomorrow – fail to clearly and unequivocally denounce antisemitism and calls for genocide of the Jewish people on their college campuses.

I contacted SUNY Chancellor John King to ensure that it is SUNYs policy that calling for the genocide of any group of people on one of SUNY's 62 campuses would be considered a violation of the SUNY code of conduct, and would lead to swift disciplinary action. Chancellor King affirmed that was the case, and that SUNY will not tolerate antisemitism or hatred of any kind. CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez has confirmed the same to be true for CUNY schools.

In addition, failure to address such activity would constitute a violation of New York State Human Rights Law as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under Title VI, any recipient of federal funds is responsible for keeping students free from a hostile environment based upon their ethnicity or national origin - a standard that that has been applied to antisemitism.

I write to you to ensure that your institution applies the same standard in its code of conduct, and has a clearly defined and well publicized mechanism for individuals to report complaints. As Governor of New York I want to reinforce that colleges and universities not in compliance with federal and state laws protecting students against discrimination can be deemed ineligible to receive state and federal funds.

I assure you that if any school in New York State is found to be in violation, I will activate the State's Division of Human Rights to take aggressive enforcement action and will refer possible Title VI violations to the federal government.

The moral lapses that were evidenced by the disgraceful answers to questions posed during this week’s congressional hearing cannot and will not be tolerated here in the state of New York.

I remain grateful for the work you do educating and protecting our students and your partnership in keeping hate and intimidation out of our campuses.

Sincerely,

Governor Kathy Hochul

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640

Translations

الترجمة إلى العربية
বাংলা অনুবাদ
Traduction en français
Tradiksyon kreyòl ayisyen
Traduzione italiana
Polskie tłumaczenie
Перевод на русский язык
Traducción al español
پیلے رنگ سے نمایاں کردہ ٹیکسٹ
אידישע איבערטייטשונג