Send President DesRoches an Email!
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"We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a state noted for strength, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds."
— President John F. Kennedy, Rice University, September 12, 1962

Dear President DesRoches:

Just as President Kennedy challenged the Rice community and all Americans 61 years ago, at this defining moment, we challenge President DesRoches and the Rice University Board of Trustees to affirm their commitment to embrace facts, truth, civic engagement, and civil discourse.

We are deeply troubled by the growing number of antisemitic activities that have been taking place at Rice University through Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and others. In the wake of the atrocities committed by Hamas against Jews in Israel on October 7, hundreds of Rice students and faculty have participated in rallies and events that paint the massacre as an acceptable and justifiable form of "resistance."

Rice SJP continues to be given a platform to spread lies and anti-Israeli hate and is inviting the Houston community to join them on campus. We have seen the violence and damage these groups, their vitriol, and their malice have caused to other universities, and we refuse to let this venom poison the Rice community we all value and esteem.

Just as Rice has pledged to follow the data "especially when the evidence exposes the university's own errors" in its recently released Final Report on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice, we call on Rice to reject the hateful and antisemitic tropes that have been polluting the University and to rebuke all those in the Rice community spreading and supporting these malicious fabrications. 

We challenge Rice to truly be bold, to demonstrate leadership and moral courage, and to do so not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Rice's future as a world-leading academic institution depends on it. 

We call on you, President DesRoches, to immediately:

- Adopt the definition of antisemitism laid out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

- Create a Presidential Task Force to combat antisemitism throughout the Rice community.

- End University funding for all Rice-affiliated organizations that directly or indirectly engage in, support, or promote any antisemitic speech or conduct. 

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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