Memo on NYU OEO Hearings – Student and Staff Accused of “Antisemitism”

12 April 2024 

Dear Linda and Gigi (cc. Susan Anton) 

We are writing to you with regard to our growing unease with the procedural black box of the  OEO that appears to be issuing judgements on cases of student and faculty accused of  “antisemitism,” without any transparency in terms of process or implications of these rulings in  terms of employment, funding, etc. 

In the adjudication through the OEO of these cases of alleged harassment, the accused person is  not entitled to the presence of an advisor. In sexual misconduct policy for employees, both  complainants and respondents are entitled to an advisor. This is only fair given the gravity of the  charges and of the consequences. The different treatment of these cases is a fundamental  violation of due process unless the university is making the astounding suggestion that  antisemitism charges are not as grave or consequential. 

We ask: Could you please clarify why this is the case in the OEO in contrast to similar hearings  in the Office of Student Conduct, where students have been allowed to be accompanied by an  advisor (union rep, a faculty member or lawyer). Why is there an exception to this norm in the  OEO non-Title IX cases? 

Secondly, once individuals are “found guilty” by the OEO, it is not clear from the NDAH  document who will determine the terms of their disciplinary action? Will this be determined  internally by individual departments or by Deans within schools? And what is the time-line for  this action? Given the potential consequences of such disciplinary action both professionally and  financially, we ask that you please clarify the next steps in terms of disciplinary action or  sanction following the OEO’s findings of guilt? Also, what appeals process is there for  individuals found guilty by the OEO? Is this process the same for faculty, post-graduate fellows,  and students? 

We are deeply concerned that the disproportionate disciplining of students, staff and faculty at  NYU in regards to speech and action in support of Palestine is falling on people of color and  other marginalized communities. We are further alarmed that, in several cases that we are aware  of, the university has relied on video footage provided by doxxers as so-called evidence of  “guilt” in OEO hearings. Doxxing is a particularly noxious form of hate speech usually based on  deliberate distortion of facts, intended to intimidate the targeted individuals into silence through harassment and threats. By legitimating the practice of doxxing, the university risks violating the  basic tenets of a campus committed to academic freedom.

Given the serious nature of these concerns, we hope to hear from your office as soon as possible. We thank you as always for your time. 

Sincerely, 

NYU AAUP-Executive Committee