Barnard students support BDS, the institution itself does not
July 13, 2018
As a longtime subscriber to your newspaper, I have depended on it for accurate reporting of Jewish news in our community, in our country and the world. In your June 22, 2018, issue, I read with particular interest David Gemunder’s article, “Pass the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (and protect the First Amendment),” which cited examples of anti-Semitism at American colleges and universities. Listed first was my alma mater, Barnard College, where the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) resolution against Israel had been passed. Stunned and distraught, I wrote a letter to the editor of Barnard Magazine, our alumnae publication, to question the college’s decision.
Citing an important distinction between school and students, Barnard’s magazine editor responded that the majority of Barnard students had voted for BDS, but Barnard as an institution chose not to support it. Gemunder’s words did not define that difference: “At Barnard College, after the passage of a BDS resolution...” Yet he noted that at the University of California, Davis, “the student government passed a resolution supporting BDS...” I am sure Gemunder did not mean to mislead. In our “fake” vs. “real” world, however, clear and accurate communication is essential for our survival and well-being.
Lenore Richman Roland