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UPenn President Liz Magill to testify in Congressional hearing on campus antisemitism

UPenn president to testify in Congressional hearing on campus antisemitism
UPenn president to testify in Congressional hearing on campus antisemitism 00:29

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill is one of three college presidents who will testify in a Congressional hearing on antisemitism in December. This comes as college campuses have become inflamed since the eruption of the Israel-Hamas war.

The hearing, titled "Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism," will be held by the Committee on Education and the Workforce on Dec. 5 at 10:15 a.m.

Harvard University President Dr. Claudine Gay and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Dr. Sally Kornbluth are also expected to testify in the hearing. 

"College and university presidents have a responsibility to foster and uphold a safe learning environment for their students and staff. Now is not a time for indecision or milquetoast statements," Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C) said in a statement. "By holding this hearing, we are shining the spotlight on these campus leaders and demanding they take the appropriate action to stand strong against antisemitism."

Penn is among seven schools being investigated under the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act by the United States Department of Education over incidents of alleged antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Penn says it has been implementing new preventive measures to fight reported antisemitism on campus. It came in the aftermath of a student being taken into custody in September for causing a disturbance at Penn Hillel during the student-led Jewish organization's morning prayer service.    

Magill has brought attention to numerous reported incidents of antisemitism on Penn's campus. 

She said in a letter to the university community on Nov. 6 that staff members -- specifically in Penn Hillel and Lauder College House -- received threatening antisemitic emails. Then on Nov. 9, Magill said antisemitic messages were projected onto several campus buildings.  

The White House has also announced new measures to target the reported incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia on college campuses. Among those measures is a $38 million grant from the Department of Justice to support the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, increase hate crimes reporting, expand victims services and increase community awareness. 

In a statement released earlier this month, Magill encouraged those who experience an act of bias or discrimination to report it through Penn's bias incident reporting form or to call its 24/7 PennComm Emergency Call Center at 215-573-3333.

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