Skip to content

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Endowment Justice Collective statement regarding unjust suspension of New Brunswick chapter of SJP

The divestment vote is still up in the air for Rutgers students during this year's Spring 2024 election cycle. – Photo by @itstandsforhighquality & @sjprutgersnb / Instagram

We write this statement in solidarity with the Students for Justice in Palestine at Rutgers—New Brunswick (SJP) and in response to the Rutgers administration's unjust suspension of its organization.

We wholeheartedly denounce the University's decision to suspend SJP without due process over unsubstantiated claims of violation of policy and call on the administration to reinstate SJP immediately. The allegations that Rutgers cites in its decision to suspend the club are wholly unsubstantiated by date, testimony and description of incidents.

The University has also made zero attempt to support its groundless claim that the club was suspended over concerns that it poses a "substantial and immediate threat to the safety and well-being of others." It is clear that Rutgers is not actually concerned about SJP's behavior and is instead invoking ungrounded allegations of policy violations in a racist attempt to suppress Palestinian activism. We, the Endowment Justice Collective, denounce this action in the strongest terms.

The carelessness of the administration in acting to suspend SJP has been deeply troubling to witness. A member of the administration leaked the letter announcing SJP's suspension — with an SJP member's personal information included, thereby doxxing the student — to the press before it had been officially sent to SJP. In fact, SJP has yet to formally receive the letter from the administration.

SJP and its advisors have consistently reached out to members of the administration to schedule appeals meetings and have been met with unresponsiveness and a lack of proper urgency from the administration. As students, staff and faculty at Rutgers, this behavior is extremely alarming. Our administration has shown a complete lack of regard for student safety and even for its own student conduct procedures, which include due process and active communication.

Given the context of well-documented and unaddressed hate crimes experienced by members of our Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities in recent months, it is clear to us that the University's action to suspend SJP is not out of any genuine concern over creating a safe student environment. Rather, by suspending the SJP at the New Brunswick campus, Rutgers shows that it does not care for Palestinian students and allies who felt safe precisely because organizations like SJP existed freely on campus.

When SJP has a right to organize, we know that there are pockets of the University that see and validate our struggles, even when the administration does not. If the University administration cares at all about maintaining a safe environment for its students, it will reinstate SJP immediately and put its full support behind the group's right to exist and organize freely on campus.

Consequently, we demand that:

  1. Rutgers immediately reinstate the SJP chapter at the New Brunswick campus.

  2. Rutgers divest its endowment fund from Israeli bonds and corporations upholding Israeli settler colonialism, apartheid and genocide.

  3. Rutgers identify and terminate the position of the administrator who leaked a private suspension letter that included the name and contact information of a student member of SJP to media outlets and issue a public apology for compromising student safety.

  4. Rutgers accept the five demands issued by the SJP in its statement issued on December 13.

An original version of this letter can be found here.

The Endowment Justice Collective is a student-led coalition of Rutgers students, faculty and community organizations advocating for an ethical University endowment fund.

Related Articles

Join our newsletterSubscribe