House committee opens investigation into antisemitism at elite universities

University presidents refused to say during a hearing this week whether anti-Jewish chants constitute violations of their codes of conduct.

Penn President Elizabeth Magill testifies before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. (YouTube)

(Daily Caller News Foundation) — The House Committee on Education and the Workforce opened an investigation Thursday into Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) following a Tuesday hearing on antisemitism on their campuses.

Harvard President Claudine Gay, Penn President Elizabeth Magill and MIT President Sally Kornbluth refused to say during the hearing whether anti-Jewish chants constituted violations of their codes of conduct, and Gay and Magill later backtracked on their statements following widespread backlash. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce announced an investigation into the “learning environments, policies, and disciplinary procedures” at all three universities following a rise in anti-Israel activities on their campus, according to a statement.

The testimony we received earlier this week from Presidents Gay, Magill, and Kornbluth about the responses of Harvard, UPenn, and MIT to the rampant antisemitism displayed on their campuses by students and faculty was absolutely unacceptable,” said Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx in a statement Thursday announcing the investigation. “Committee members have deep concerns with their leadership and their failure to take steps to provide Jewish students the safe learning environment they are due under law.”

“The Committee is opening a formal investigation into the learning environments, policies, and disciplinary procedures at Harvard, UPenn, & MIT. This should be a notice to every university that the targeting of Jewish students on campus will not be tolerated,” the committee posted on X.

More than 30 student organizations at Harvard signed a pro-Palestinian letter blaming Israel for the Hamas terrorist attacks on Oct. 7, causing nationwide uproar. Gay released a statement later in the month saying that the students did not speak for the university but that the organizations had a “right to speak.”

“This investigation will include substantial document requests, and the Committee will not hesitate to utilize compulsory measures including subpoenas if a full response is not immediately forthcoming,” Foxx said in the press release.

Magill did not refer to Hamas as a terrorist organization until after prominent donor Jon Huntsman Jr. said his family would stop donating to the university. A “small number” of antisemitic threats on campus to university staff resulted in Penn contacting the FBI to investigate the matter.

Several Jewish students at MIT said they were blocked by anti-Israel students from attending classes in October, according to the New York Post.

Harvard, Penn and MIT did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.


Brandon Poulter