update deskSchools & Higher Education

MIT suspends anti-Israel student group over unauthorized protest

The Coalition Against Apartheid will no longer be allowed to organize on campus.

The Great Dome at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. Credit: Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock
The Great Dome at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. Credit: Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock

Sally Kornbluth, the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., has suspended a student group that advocates against the State of Israel for breaking school policy.

She said on Feb. 12, the Coalition Against Apartheid (CAA) violated “the rules of the road regarding campus demonstrations.” As a result, its leaders received notice the next day of the organization’s suspension.

Administrative procedures exist, she explained, “to ensure that we can make ample room for free expression while also allowing everyone to pursue their work and lives here, safely and unimpeded. [CAA] once again conducted a demonstration on campus without going through the normal permission processes that apply to every student group at MIT.”

The disciplinary action will prevent the student group from reserving space on campus, using academic facilities, receiving funding or organizing future protests.

CAA responded by creating a petition to call for its reinstatement, claiming that “the exercise of our right to free speech has been met with sanctions and suppression by the administration.”

Canary Mission put out a statement in response to the suspension, criticizing Kornbluth’s rationale for the action. “By attributing the suspension to a technicality rather than addressing the group’s hateful speech and actions, Kornbluth continues her pattern of failing to confront antisemitism on campus, as seen during the congressional hearing,” the group said.

Its research shows that the student organization engaged in more than 30 anti-Israel protests between Oct. 7 and Dec. 31.

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