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Monday, May 20, 2024
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Professors protest outside Bascom Hall in support of students' pro-Palestine protest on May 2, 2024.

Mecha, Anticolonial Scientists suspended as university investigates antisemitic chalkings

The student organizations must cease activities pending an investigation and decision from the Committee on Student Organizations.

Anticolonial Scientists and Mecha de UW Madison — registered student organizations (RSOs) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison — received interim suspensions, according to the Committee on Student Organizations (CSO).

The CSO received complaints alleging members of Mecha and Anticolonial co-hosted a chalking event that resulted in some chalkings that endorsed violence, supported terrorist organizations and contained antisemitic comments, according to a statement from UW-Madison

This follows previous reporting from The Daily Cardinal on chalking found Saturday at the Dane County Farmers’ Market that said “Al-Qassam you make us proud, kill another soldier now,” “Power to Al-Qassam'' and “Al-Qassam show us how, kill another soldier now.” Other chalkings said “Power to Hezbollah” and “Power to Ansrallah [Houthis] seize them all.” 

Anticolonial Scientists posted a screenshot of their suspension letter from Assistant Dean of Students Tonya Schmidt in a post on their Instagram story on Monday. The letter said the CSO received reports that “curse all Jews” was written in chalk.

“You would think this alleged ‘curse all Jews’ chalking would have been included in their article about ‘antisemitic chalkings’ but I guess they used the time in between Saturday and today to make up more lies,” the Instagram story said.

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Anticolonial Scientists Instagram story from Monday May 6, 2024.

The Cardinal did not report chalk that said “curse all Jews.” The university did not respond to an inquiry if they had any firsthand knowledge of this phrase.

The complaint involves possible violation of UW-Madison Registered Student Organization Code of Conduct, including discriminatory harassment, according to a suspension letter sent to Anticolonial Scientists.

An interim suspension does not indicate the organizations have been found in violation of CSO policies, according to the CSO resource and policy guide.

“UW-Madison and its leaders condemn antisemitism, Islamophobia and calls for violence,” UW-Madison’s statement said.

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Organizations facing interim suspension must cease activities pending an investigation and decision from the CSO. The suspension also forbids access to university-owned office space, hosting or co-hosting events, travel and reserving university facilities.

Mecha de UW Madison did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Tyler Katzenberger of The Daily Cardinal contributed reporting to this story.

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Anna Kleiber

Anna Kleiber is the state news editor for The Daily Cardinal. Follow her on Twitter at @annakleiber03.

Noe Goldhaber

Noe Goldhaber is the college news editor and former copy chief for the Daily Cardinal. She is a statistics major and has reported on a wide range of campus issues. Follow her on Twitter at @noegoldhaber.

Tomer Ronen

Tomer Ronen is the Features Editor for the Daily Cardinal. Follow him on Twitter at @TRonen22.

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