August 20, 2019 | 81° F

Mock eviction notices threaten students' sense of safety

Letter to the Editor

Sunday night, Oct. 6, very realistic “eviction notices” were placed under doors of student residence halls and apartment buildings at the University. They were so realistic, in fact, that many students were, at first, led to believe they were being evicted from their place of residence. The notice, a publicity stunt by Rutgers Students for Justice in Palestine, was distributed to spread propaganda, create confusion and to gain attention.

RSJP’s actions were a blatant violation of the university code of conduct regarding how groups may or may not solicit students on campus. Members of RSJP placed these deceptive notices under residence hall doors on all five campuses.

Respecting students’ rights to privacy and giving them the safe space necessary to be free from solicitation and imposition in their places of residence is not only a hallmark feature of our university but a necessary component to enable and foster the growth of inclusion and diversity within our community.

Making students feel unsafe in their homes is apparently part of the RSJP strategy, which also includes propagating half-truths, misstatements and historical inaccuracies. The fraudulent “eviction notice” is a de-facto example of this reprehensible agenda.

The Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement was established to foster a positive voice for Israel while defending Israel against slanderous attacks such as this. We decry this manipulation and intimidation of students through stunts employed to promote a political agenda.

We hope our university will work toward making our campuses and students feel safe and free from harassment or intimidation by agenda-driven interest groups — to enable the proper and profound exchange of ideas in a civil and productive manner fostering greater communication and growth for everyone. Rutgers Hillel looks forward to being a positive contributor to such an environment.

Rabbi Esther Reed is the senior associate director of Rutgers Hillel.

By Rabbi Esther Reed

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