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Duke student government denied recognition to pro-Israel student group, administration intervenes

The student group was originally approved, but that approval was later vetoed by the student body president

Published: November 29, 2021 9:24am

Updated: November 29, 2021 11:04am

Duke University administrators have stepped in to get financial backing for the "Students Supporting Israel" group on campus after the student body denied the organization official recognition. 

University President Vincent E. Price and Provost Sally Kornbluth said the university has found other ways for the group to receive financial support without formal recognition by the student government. And they have made clear that the decision to deny recognition to SSI was made independently of the university.

"To be clear, the actions of Duke Student Government are independent of, and not determined by or sanctioned by, the university," read the administration's statement.

The school's Office of Institutional Equity and the Office of Conduct and Community Standards is also probing the student government's decision to determine whether students were discriminated against based on their national origin and religion.

In early November, the student government approved the group as registered student organization. However, student government President Christina Wang vetoed the approval, saying the group has "singled out" a student on social media, according to the Duke Chronicle.

The president of Students Supporting Israel told Fox News the administration's statement was a step in the right direction but SSI is not looking for a "separate but equal status" on campus. 

"We still seek the administration to get involved and reverse the unjust decision made by the student government that cancelled SSI due to our speech and to register SSI as a club on campus just like any other club," the group president said. "SSI isn't looking to have special status on campus. We look to be treated just like any other club, and the university has the power to do so."

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