HomeTop StoriesStudents sue Northwestern University for failing to address 'serious anti-Semitism' on campus

Students sue Northwestern University for failing to address ‘serious anti-Semitism’ on campus

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) The pro-Palestinian tent camp at Northwestern University came down weeks ago when protesters and the university reached an agreement – but against the now quiet backdrop of the Evanston campus, the controversy continues.

Northwestern and its leaders are facing a new lawsuit seeking class-action status, saying the university has failed to protect Jewish students of serious anti-Semitic intimidation.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Jonathan Lindenfeld is the attorney representing the plaintiff, listed in the complaint as John Doe.

“We have seen anti-Semitism go unaddressed for a long time,” Lindenfeld said, “and in recent months, since October 7, it has become unbearable.”

The complaint alleged that some Jewish students faced harassment and hateful rhetoric. It also criticizes the school for allowing tent camps to protest the war in Gaza – contrary to its own campus policies.

“The University has an obligation under its own policies, as well as the Civil Rights Act, to ensure that these students’ First Amendment rights are not disregarded. their educational experience,” Lindenfeld said. .

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The lawsuit comes weeks after Northwestern reached a deal with student protesters that ended the Deering Meadow encampment. University President Michael Schill stood by that decision in a video message at the end of April.

“I am proud of our community for achieving what has been a challenge across the country: a sustainable, de-escalated path forward; one that prioritizes the safety and security of all students,” Schill said.

According to the agreement between the demonstrators and the university, the protests may continue until June 1. However, only one auxiliary tent camp may remain.

In return, in addition to various concessions, including support for Palestinian teachers and students, the school will answer questions about its specific assets.

Schill is one of three university presidents scheduled to testify Thursday before a committee on anti-Semitism on college campuses.

Another lawsuit with allegations that the university enabled intimidation, specifically during the camp protest was filed in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of three students earlier this month.

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CBS 2 reached out to Northwestern about the latest lawsuit but had not heard back as of 10 p.m. Monday.

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