Six Republican members have urged the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) to fire its president, Liz Magill, over her recent testimony at a House committee hearing about anti-Semitism on college campuses.
During Tuesday’s House hearing, Ms. Magill declined to say outright that calling for the genocide of all Jewish people would violate the university’s code of conduct concerning bullying and harassment.
Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), Dan Meuser (R-Pa.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), John Joyce (R-Pa.), Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) urged the board of trustees to dismiss Ms. Magill, calling her action “an embarrassment” to the university.
“Sadly, she has shown the university and the entire world that she is either incapable or unwilling to combat antisemitism on the university’s campus and take care of its student body,” they added.
“I was not focused on, but I should have been, the irrefutable fact that a call for genocide of Jewish people is a call for some of the most terrible violence human beings can perpetrate.
“It’s evil, plain and simple. I want to be clear. A call for genocide of Jewish people is threatening, deeply so.
“It is intentionally meant to terrify a people who have been subjected to pogroms and hatred for centuries and were the victims of mass genocide in the Holocaust. In my view, it would be harassment or intimidation,” she said.
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Pennsylvania State Sen. Steve Santarsiero has joined the calls for her resignation, saying that her “coached response” at the hearing had “utterly failed to express the moral clarity that the question demanded.”
“Absent a change in leadership and values at Penn in the very near future, I plan to rescind Penn’s Stone Ridge shares to help prevent any further reputational and other damage to Stone Ridge as a result of our relationship with Penn and Liz Magill,” he stated.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, a nonvoting member of Penn’s Board of Trustees, told reporters on Wednesday the board had a “serious decision” to make regarding Ms. Magill’s statements.
“They have seemingly failed every step of the way to take concrete action to make sure all students feel safe on campus,” Mr. Shapiro said. “And then the testimony yesterday took it to the next level.”
An online petition demanding the university’s Board of Trustees accept Ms. Magill’s resignation due to her “inability to unequivocally condemn calls for the genocide of Jewish students and inability to identify these as harassment” had 2,500 signatures by Wednesday afternoon.