FAU Must Step Up & Take Action Against Pro-Palestinian Student Hate Groups
State Representative Mike Caruso, R-West Palm Beach, has called on FAU to stand with Israel by acting against student hate groups. On October 13th, Caruso sent a letter to interim President Stacy Volnik, asking her to take action using a 2019 state law that would allow her to disband these hate groups and expel any students spewing antisemitic rhetoric—the response to the letter, crickets. One specific group is called the Muslim Student Association (MSA), which has issued antisemitic statements and suspiciously has 29 of its 102 student member names hidden on the FAU website. Recent anti-Israel protests at FAU have resulted in arrests, and that’s not kosher.
Full Disclosure: Tracy Caruso is married to Rep. Mike Caruso
Rep. Caruso’s letter to FAU
When news of the war in Israel broke, FAU’s Volnik had a knee-jerk reaction and put out a virtue-signaling, cease-fire, anti-Israel statement. It didn’t sit well with many, and the result was a couple of strongly worded ‘We Support Israel’ joint statements from Volnick and FAU Board of Trustees Chair Brad Levine that sounded perfect and strong, but now that they have the opportunity to do something, to show that support, will they? The answer at this moment is no.
Allowing groups such as the Muslim Student Association (MSA) on campus is not only insulting but may also be illegal due to an education law enacted in 2019 by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. The law, cosponsored by State Reps Mike Caruso, R-West Palm Beach, and Randy Fine, R-Brevard, codified the federal definition for antisemitism into Florida state law to provide a guideline to recognize discrimination and antisemitism for schools to be able to treat antisemitic incidents in the same manner as racist incidents that often result in suspensions or expulsions. This law was Florida’s first significant step to show the world that antisemitism is unacceptable in this state. Rep Fine has also sent a letter to Governor DeSantis regarding the same issue in universities throughout the state. Lawmakers are saying we have the laws; now use them.
From Rep. Caruso’s letter to Interim President Stacy Volnik from October 13th;
In light of recent events at FAU, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that we do not remain silent in the face of violence and hate. Acts of antisemitism, or any form of discrimination, are unequivocally unacceptable, and they should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
I request your urgent attention to the situation at FAU and implore you to take the necessary steps outlined in HB 741. This includes treating acts of anti-Semitism the same way you would treat acts of racism.
Accordingly, FAU would terminate sanctioned groups that espoused racial hate and expel students who were involved. I ask you to consider the same for these groups and students who were involved in promoting antisemitic rhetoric. It is essential that we send a clear message that such behavior will not be tolerated within the educational institutions of our state. ~State Representative Mike Caruso
As of now, Volnik and FAU are doing nothing. Words and statements mean zero without action and leadership. FAU can still do something and show where they stand. It’s time for Volnick to step up. These hateful student groups must come to an end. In the meantime, a couple of statements of appeasement aren’t enough to make what’s going on okay. You can put lipstick on a pig to try to make it look pretty, but it still stinks at the end of the day.
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