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In reverse, Columbia Law recognizes student group opposing Jew-hatred 

The founder of a group opposing antisemitism told the Columbia student paper it was “unacceptable” and “heartbreaking” that the group wasn’t officially recognized initially.

The statue in front of Low Memorial Library on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. Credit: Nowhereman86 via Wikimedia Commons.
The statue in front of Low Memorial Library on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. Credit: Nowhereman86 via Wikimedia Commons.

After having been the only one of nine student groups rejected for official recognition at Columbia Law School in January, Law Students Against Antisemitism was approved as an official Columbia group earlier this month, the Columbia Spectator reported.

The approval came after a two-hour “emergency meeting” of the student senate on Zoom on Feb. 11, according to the student publication. “I’m pleased we were able to approve this group and have a spirited discussion about our community’s values,” Justin Onwenu, president of the student senate, told the Spectator.

Sticking points in January were reportedly the group’s embrace of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism and the group’s policy that it could revoke membership from those who disrupt events the organization sponsors.

Marie-Alice Legrand, who founded the student group after Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack, told the Spectator it was “unacceptable” and “heartbreaking” that the group was initially rejected.

Earlier this month, Mackenzie (“Macky”) Forrest, an Orthodox Jew from Florida, filed a lawsuit alleging she faced discrimination and retaliation due to her religion and was “forced out” of the Columbia School of Social Work’s highly specialized dialectical behavior training program.

The Lawfare Project and the firm Eiseman Levine Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis filed the lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Columbia’s trustees, university president Minouche Shafik and André Ivanoff and Elizabeth Creel, social work faculty members.

The complaint was filed on the same day the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce opened an investigation into Columbia’s response to antisemitism and alleged failure to protect Jewish students.

The House committee sent a letter to Columbia and its trustees asking for documents and other information about incidents on campus that may show a lack of protection of Jewish students since Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack.

Forrest joins students at Harvard University, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley, who have filed complaints under Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 in recent weeks.

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