Tell Fordham University: Students Must be Free to Organize for Palestinian Liberation

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is a national student-run organization with over 200 chapters across the U.S. and Canada, with a strong principled vision of freedom and justice for the Palestinian people.  

But at Fordham University, the administration is fighting a legal battle to prevent students from fighting for Palestinian rights on their campus — in a way that could have disastrious consequences for student activism across the nation.

In 2015, students from Fordham University in New York City began unofficially meeting to educate about and discuss Palestinian liberation. But the administrators of Fordham University, which has a long tradition of associating itself with social justice causes, shocked everyone by refusing to recognize Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as a student group, claiming it would “cause polarization” on campus. 

Since then, Fordham University has fought a years-long legal battle against incoming classes of students attempting to form an SJP chapter, claiming legal protections for their right to single out and exclude SJP members from recognition as a legitimate student group. 

To make their case, Fordham’s administrators have sided with right-wing lobby groups' punitive tactics aimed at silencing and intimidating students and academics advocating for Palestine. These lobby groups have defamed students, created McCarthyist-style blacklists, initiated lawsuits, made false & inflammatory accusations of support for terrorism, created astroturf organizations, and pressured universities to create bureaucratic barriers against any open criticism of Israel on campus. 

Despite all that’s stacked against them, Fordham’s SJP members persisted, and courts initially sided with students’ rights to organize for Palestinian rights. But the administration at Fordham wouldn’t let up — and they appealed the case. Now, the court has left the decision with Fordham administrators on whether or not to allow SJP at Fordham to continue.

Fordham has always had the power to let students organize in support of Palestinian rights without harassment or punishment. If you believe students should be applauded for organizing for what’s right — instead of having to fight their own administration — then let Fordham University’s leadership know now.

Send an email to Fordham University administrators demanding they let Fordham students organize as Students for Justice in Palestine!