President Shafik Welcomes the First Set of Recommendations From the Task Force on Antisemitism

March 04, 2024

I welcome the initial report of the Task Force on Antisemitism and am grateful to the co-chairs and task force members from Columbia, Barnard College, and Teachers College for their hard and thoughtful work. As the task force makes clear, it is essential to ensure that debates and disagreements across Columbia are rooted in academic rigor and civil discourse, and that Jewish students, faculty, and staff, and all members of our community, feel safe, supported, and included. The task force’s important work will continue across a number of fronts as the University works to address this ancient, but sadly persistent, form of hate.

I am pleased that the task force strongly endorses the new Interim University Policy for Safe Demonstrations that was announced last month, and appreciate the task force’s many other suggestions about reporting, enforcement, anti-discrimination, and other issues.

We will review the interim policy at the end of this semester. Collaborating with the University Senate, student leaders, faculty, and other members of the community, we are committed to ensuring that our rules both protect free speech and foster inclusivity at Columbia. As always, we encourage feedback from all members of our community. We have created a new form for students, faculty, and staff to share their ideas and suggestions, anonymously if they prefer.

Minouche Shafik
President, Columbia University in the City of New York