CUNY Chancellor RESIGN!

CUNY Chancellor RESIGN!

July 6, 2022
Signatures: 1,829Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Jacqueline Shafer

CUNY Doesn’t Care About Antisemitism;
We Demand Action and We Demand for the Chancellor to Resign

New York City Council’s Higher Education Committee held a long-awaited hearing to examine Antisemitism at CUNY, led by Councilmembers Eric Dinowitz and Inna Vernikov.

The hearing was originally set for June 8, 2022 but was rescheduled to the end of the month to accommodate CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez’s appearance, as he said it was “important for him to attend.” However, in a cowardly move, the Chancellor backed out the night before, and wouldn’t attend the hearing – not even virtually. Not even for five minutes. Instead, he sent a lawyer and two CUNY representatives, who attended on Zoom, and one of whom had to leave the screen at 11:00 am.

There were dozens of past and present CUNY students and faculty members lined up to testify and tell their stories about pervasive harassment, discrimination, bullying and assaults that the CUNY administration blatantly refuses to address. The line was so long that the hearing went on for close to eight hours, and only ended because of time restraints.

CUNY representatives, sent by the Chancellor to stand in for him, acknowledged that there is a serious Antisemitism problem at CUNY, but could not name a single thing CUNY has done, or is willing to do, to address the issue. Many CUNY administrators, led by Chancellor Rodríguez, have made it clear they believe tormenting Jews is acceptable; they not only look the other way, but often participate, as was shown throughout the hearing.

CUNY is a publicly funded school system that claims to protect students from ethnic/religious discrimination. The City Council hearing demonstrated that in fact, CUNY enables ethnic/religious discrimination against one group – Jews.

The Chancellor’s inaction and cowardice are unacceptable. He takes a salary of $670,000 from our taxpayer dollars and has yet to do his job.

We demand that CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez immediately RESIGN from his public, taxpayer-funded position.

We wish to see CUNY commit to the following:

1.     Implementing centralized sensitivity training on Antisemitism;

2.     Specific consequences for those who harass, intimidate, and/or discriminate against Jewish students and/or professors at CUNY;  

3.     Adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance “IHRA” definition of Antisemitism;

4.     Openly and unequivocally commit that CUNY will never disallow academic exchange between CUNY faculty and departments and programs in Israel, and study abroad programs in Israel;

5.     A clear and centralized policy on Antisemitism and how to respond to Anti-Semitic instances, set up a process for condemnation, and investigation from the top-down so it is clear and takes away confusion;

6.     A Diversity Officer specifically to deal with students who are victims of Antisemitism;

7.     A mechanism in place to safely report and keep a record of Anti-Semitic incidents at every CUNY school.

8.     Creation of a task force/committee to be made up of representatives from the Jewish community.


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Signatures: 1,829Next Goal: 2,500
Support now