Apr 11, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Top elite colleges get failing grades on campus antisemitism

Harvard campus

View of Harvard University from across the Charles River in Boston on Feb. 17. Photo: Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Elite colleges including Harvard, MIT, and Stanford were among a swath of schools Thursday to receive failing grades from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for the state of antisemitism on their campuses.

Why it matters: Antisemitism has surged across the U.S. in the wake of the start of the Israel-Hamas war, which has become a flashpoint on college campuses across the country.

  • The war has contributed to a rise in both antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents on university campuses.
  • "Like all students, Jewish students deserve to feel safe and supported on campus. They deserve a learning environment free from antisemitism and hate," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a press release.

The big picture: The ADL's new Campus Antisemitism Report Card graded 85 schools for the state of antisemitism on their campuses and how schools are responding.

  • The ADL assessed the schools across 21 criteria that looked at a schools' actions and policies, Jewish life on campus and incidents on campus.
  • The organization gave each a school a short questionnaire and conducted its own secondary research to measure the scores.

The report looked at the top national and liberal arts schools in the country, as well as colleges with the "highest proportion of Jewish students," per the press release.

  • Only two schools — Brandeis University and Elon University — received "A" grades. Another 17 schools received "B" grades, 29 schools got "C" grades, 24 got "D" grades.
  • Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Princeton were among the 13 schools to get an "F" grade.

What they're saying: "Antisemitism has no place in the Harvard community. We remain steadfast in our commitment to combating antisemitism and hate, in whatever form it manifests itself," Harvard said in a statement Thursday.

  • MIT and Stanford did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

State of play: Over the past several months, the Education Department has been investigating allegations of antisemitism and Islamophobia at colleges and school districts around the U.S., including Harvard.

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