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UVM under federal investigation over antisemitism allegations

A photo of brick buildings seen from up high with a cloudy sky in the background
Taylor Dobbs
/
Vermont Public File
The University of Vermont is under federal investigation over allegations of antisemitism.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is investigating allegations of antisemitism at the University of Vermont.

The Louis D. Brandeis Center and the organization Jewish on Campus filed a complaint last fall on behalf of several Jewish UVM students. It says the students were "subjected to a campaign of intimidation, harassment and discrimination targeting them on the basis of their Jewish ethnic identity."

The complaint alleges that multiple student groups excluded Jewish Zionist students; that a teaching assistant discriminated against students and harassed them online; and that students vandalized the UVM Hillel building, which houses a Jewish student organization on campus.

The complaint further alleges that UVM did not adequately address these incidents, violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

In an email to Vermont Public, UVM spokesperson Enrique Corredera said the university would comply with the federal investigation, and that UVM “seeks to foster a culture of inclusiveness for all students, faculty, and staff, including members of our Jewish community and does not tolerate acts of bias or discrimination related to religion, race, culture, gender, or sexual orientation on our campus."

Corredera also said the allegations had already been reported to the university and investigated by campus officials, but did not share results from those investigations.

"We know there is still so much more to be done to create an environment at UVM where all Jewish students feel safe and welcome on campus," Matt Vogel, executive director of UVM Hillel, said in a statement. "[A]nd we’re committed to continuing to work with our partners at the University and beyond to do just that."

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Anna Van Dine @annasvandine.

Anna is a reporter and co-hosts Vermont Public's daily news podcast, The Frequency, with Henry Epp.
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