UPenn Jewish students feared for their safety under ousted president

A growing body of Jewish students at the University of Pennsylvania have voiced their concerns about campus life in the wake of now-former university president Liz Magill’s controversial testimony earlier in the week. 

UPenn student Kevin Bina told FOX 29 that his fellow fraternity members “don’t even feel comfortable walking outside our house wearing their kippahs just because they don’t know if they’re going to be harassed.” 

Liz Magill, President of University of Pennsylvania, testifies before the House Education and Workforce Committee at the Rayburn House Office Building on December 05, 2023 in Washington, D.C.  (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Another student, Leah Weinberger, said many Jewish students are reconsidering their application to UPenn after Magill’s testimony. 

“Even people who are thinking of applying — Jewish students from the Northeast, from where I’m from, and all around — are not even applying,” Weinberger told the outlet. “They’re choosing other schools because of, just, fears.” 

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Another student, Eyal Lubin, said Magill did not show “humanity what really is behind what’s going on here at Penn.” 

Their comments come after controversial congressional testimony from Magill and her counterparts at Harvard and MIT concerning antisemitism on campus. Such incidents have proliferated in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. 

During a heated line of questioning, Magill was grilled during a five-hour hearing, along with Harvard President Claudine Gay and MIT President Sally Kornbluth, on how their institutions have responded to antisemitism on campus. 

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UPenn campus

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images/File)

Much of the blowback centered on questioning from Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who repeatedly asked Magill whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” would violate each university’s code of conduct. 

Magill said that whether hate speech crossed the line into violating Penn’s policies depended on context. 

“If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment,” Magill said. 

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Her comments — and similar ones by Gay — drew swift international backlash. On Wednesday, Magill apologized and walked back some of her comments, but calls for her resignation — including from high-profile donors — quickly mounted.

The university’s board of trustees held an emergency meeting Thursday and on Saturday, Magill resigned. 

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“I write to share that President Liz Magill has voluntarily tendered her resignation as President of the University of Pennsylvania. She will remain a tenured faculty member at Penn Carey Law,” Board of Trustees Chairman Scott L. Bok wrote in a statement.

Fox News Digital has reached out to UPenn for comment. 

FOX Business’ Adam Sabes and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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