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Northwestern President Schill grilled by lawmakers at campus antisemtism hearing. 'Hate is hate'

Angie Leventis Lourgos, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

Congressional lawmakers grilled Northwestern University President Michael Schill for several hours on Thursday about the rise of antisemitism on campus — including allegations that a Jewish student at the elite Big Ten school was recently assaulted and another student wearing a yarmulke was spat upon.

Schill, who described himself as a Jewish descendent of Holocaust victims and survivors, acknowledged the recent “disturbing spike in antisemitism” at Northwestern and other schools nationwide as he testified before congressional leaders during a hearing in Washington titled “Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos.”

He said the Evanston-based university will work over the summer to update its conduct code before the next academic year begins.

“Where there is conduct that threatens the Northwestern community, we must impose discipline, and we have done so,” Schill said, during opening remarks. “Yet, I will be the first to admit ― our existing rules and policies are falling short, and we must improve our processes to meet the current challenge.”

Schill added that the university will also increase security and enhance enforcement of the student code of conduct.

“We are confident we can continue to promote two principles at the core of our mission ― free expression and academic freedom ― while disciplining harassment and intimidation,” he said.


Colleges and universities across the country have faced mounting accusations of fostering environments that are hostile or discriminatory to Jews, particularly since the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel, which killed roughly 1,200 and plunged the region into an ongoing war.

The hearing before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce came as tensions on colleges nationwide have hit a fever pitch due to a movement of pro-Palestinian demonstrations and protest encampments, including one that took hold at Northwestern last month.

Schill, who has served as president of Northwestern since fall 2022, testified alongside the leaders of Rutgers University and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Several prominent leaders of Ivy League schools resigned under fire following testimony at a similar congressional hearing on campus antisemitism late last year.


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