May 23, 2019 | 78° F

Mock eviction notices spark complaints from students

Students have filed complaints with Rutgers’ Bias Prevention Education Committee against Students for Justice in Palestine’s mock eviction notices that were posted Sunday in residence halls across the New Brunswick campus.

The eviction notices stated students’ suites were scheduled for demolition in the next three days. The notices were distributed Sunday night by members of Rutgers SJP. The notices also said if the resident did not vacate the premise in that time, the organization reserved the right to destroy all remaining belongings.

According to a previous article published by The Daily Targum Oct. 8, National Students for Justice in Palestine also used the mock eviction letters at Harvard University, which sparked controversy.

The Rutgers chapter of SJP posted the notices to raise awareness about Palestinians who have been evicted from their homes.

Kerri Willson, director of student involvement at Rutgers Student Life, said she deals with policy infractions and was alerted by the bias committee about SJP’s violation of the University posting policy. The bias committee deals with the content in the flyers.

“The organization was found responsible for violating student involvement posting policy for the residence halls,” she said.

Rutgers has an extensive posting policy, Willson said, and enforces student organizations to have all posters stamped with approval by Student Life. The policy also covers how many posters can be put up at bus stops, and specifically mentions regulations for posting in residence halls.

“We have a process where there is a staff member in residence life. The student organization is supposed to reach out to find out about getting something approved to be posted and that individual would say, ‘okay, I get this many fliers’ and they drop them off at a central location,” she said.

The staff in the residence hall would post the fliers, as they do not allow student organizations to post their own fliers or slide them under doors, she said.

“Consistent with similar infractions by other groups, [Students for Justice in Palestine] have been issued a formal written warning from student life, educating what the policy is, and they were put on notice that any further violations involving this policy would result in more serious consequences,” she said.

The consequences depend on the level of seriousness of the infraction, Willson said. If SJP violates the policy again, they could lose privileges such as the inability to reserve space on campus, access their funds and lose their registration status.

Andrew Getraer, executive director at Rutgers Hillel, said the Jewish cultural outreach organization has not filed complaints against anyone.

“We had many students who came to us who were very upset when they received eviction notices, who felt harassed, who felt that they have been deceived and made to feel targeted and unsafe in their dorm rooms, and … We directed them to the appropriate deans,” he said. “There were several students who filed complaints.”

Getraer said in some cases, Jewish students were targeted and explained how some students came to Hillel stating how they were the only student who received a flyer on their floor.

Rutgers Students for Justice in Palestine declined to comment.

By Julian Chokkattu

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