A congressional committee probing campus antisemitism is expanding its investigation to include Columbia University and demanding the school turn over a trove of documents to lawmakers, CNN reported on Monday.
In a 16-page letter delivered to Columbia leaders on Monday afternoon, Rep. Virginia Foxx, the Republican chairwoman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, informed the university her panel is investigating Columbia’s “failure to protect Jewish students.”
“We have grave concerns regarding the inadequacy of Columbia’s response to antisemitism on its campus,” Foxx wrote in the letter, citing an “environment of pervasive antisemitism” that goes back more than two decades, according to CNN.
Foxx is requesting that Columbia officials produce a mountain of documents to aid the investigation by February 26.
The request for documents includes reports on antisemitic incidents since early 2021; the findings of disciplinary action against faculty and students; documents on action taken against student groups related to conduct involving Jews; records of requests to protest at the university; all communications since early 2021 referring to antisemitism involving university officials; and information on foreign donations, including funding from Qatari sources.
Foxx cited a “pattern of deeply troubling” incidents at Columbia in recent months, including “assaults, harassment and vandalism.”
Columbia is the fourth university targeted by the House investigation on campus antisemitism, joining Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“We are committed to combating antisemitism and all forms of hatred,” said a Columbia spokesperson on Monday. “We have received the letter from Chairwoman Foxx and will cooperate fully with any investigation.”
Antisemitism has been on the rise in campuses across the US since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel and the war in Gaza which followed.
Just last week, antisemitic flyers showing a skunk emblazoned with the Israeli flag were posted on the campus of Columbia University.
A week before that, Israeli firearms model Orin Julie and fashion model Natali Dadon were accosted at the University of Columbia by one of the central figures of the anti-Israel protests on campus.
Amid the antisemitism on campus, Columbia University's administration shut down a December discussion by the pro-Palestinian Arab student group "Columbia Social Workers 4 Palestine" after it was discovered that the discussion aimed to justify Hamas' October 7 massacre of Israeli civilians.
Columbia University announced in November it was suspending the pro-Palestinian Arab groups Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace through the end of the fall term, cutting off the groups’ University funding and eligibility to hold on-campus events.
Shai Davidai, an assistant professor at the Columbia Business School, called Columbia President Minouche Shafik a “coward” in a fiery speech last year criticizing the president for failing to quiet “pro-terror” voices at the school.