Antisemitic demonstrators raise anger in student leaders

During the Owl Involved event, a table with hateful messages received anger from the Florida Atlantic University community.

%23Ye+is+right%3A+Change+my+mind.+Individuals+show+support+of+Kanye+Wests+ideas+against+the+Jewish+community.

Andre Ornelas

“#Ye is right: Change my mind.” Individuals show support of Kanye West’s ideas against the Jewish community.

Jessica Abramsky, News Editor

Editor’s Note: As of Jan. 27, the UP updated the article for clarity.

On Wednesday, students witnessed what Interim President Stacy Volnick called an instance of “hate and Anti-semitism” during the Owl Involved event that took place on the Breezeway.

Dalton Clodfelter and Tyler Russell, non-FAU students, set up a table at the North end of the Breezeway outside of the College of Business with a tablecloth that read, “#YeisRight. Change my mind.” The table had printed Tweets from Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. The Council of Student Organizations confirmed the table did not belong to the university.

There was a large crowd around the table and some students were holding pro-Israel signs.

Two unidentified men accompanied Clodfelter and Russell.

Clodfelter’s Twitter has antisemitic content, such as “forgiving Hitler.”

“To my knowledge, they didn’t have permission to be in the breezeway because they didn’t need one,” Student Body Vice President Dalia Calvillo said. “They aren’t an organization on campus. I asked them for an email confirmation with evidence as approval to be there, when they didn’t show me one, I was told they weren’t FAU associated. Unfortunately, they were permitted to be there due to the area being a free speech area.”

Calvillo details that the hate against the Jewish community has left her heartbroken. She wrote that a line was crossed between free speech and hate speech at FAU.

“I made it very clear that they had two options: me kindly asking them to leave, or me calling our FAU police department,” said Calvillo.

Hours after the incident, Volnick emailed the FAU community.

“Florida Atlantic University believes in the freedoms provided by the First Amendment; however, we also denounce Anti-Semitism in all its forms,” read the email.

Ariana Hoblin, founder and president of Students Supporting Israel at FAU, condemned the FAU administration’s inaction.

“As a Jewish student on campus, I no longer feel safe knowing that the FAU Administration failed to protect Jewish students. The FAU Administration must protect the students on campus,” Hoblin said in a statement released to the UP.

Mia Evans, former president of Hillel on campus, agrees with Hoblin.

“I understand FAU is a public campus, but when is enough, enough? We are your students, who fund this campus. Why isn’t more being done to protect us,” Evans wrote. 

Inbal Shachar, an SG House of Representatives official, described the event as “unacceptable” and congratulated the SG officials present to defuse the situation.

I am proud that my fellow Student Leaders in Student Government took a stand with me against Anti-semitism,” Shachar wrote in a statement.

Clodfelter refused to speak with UP reporters.

Jessica Abramsky is the News Editor for the University Press. For more information on this article or others, you can reach Jessica at [email protected] or DM her on Instagram @jessabramsky.