SARATOGA SPRINGS — Skidmore College has reversed their decision to allow a Progressive Zionists for Peace club a trial period.
On March 13, via a Zoom meeting, Skidmore College’s Club Affairs Committee initially denied a Progressive Zionists for Peace (PZP) club a chance to see if they had interest on campus. The establishing president of the pro-Israel group is student Nessa Goldhirsch Brown.
A letter from Sarah Baker, a Senior Senator on Skidmore College’s Student Government Association (SGA) board, to Nessa Goldhirsch Brown, describes why the group was turned down. In the letter published on FIRE’s website (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, thefire.org), Baker wrote the following:
“…some members [of the Student Club Affairs Committee] expressed concern that a dialogue focused club with one perspective being conveyed could be troublesome. That being said, the committee thinks that the group should try to either gain more diverse perspectives before becoming a club focused on dialogue or reframe the mission to be more advocate focused with a specific stance.”
Recently, the Committee granted a trial period to a
Pro-Palestinian group, Students for Justice in Palestine,
On March 19, the prospective PZP club had a follow-up discussion with the Club Affairs Committee, who ultimately decided to move the club into a trial period. Sara Miga, Director of External Relations and Strategic Communications for Skidmore College, gave the following statement:
“This was never an issue of religion or ideology. Skidmore does not and will not tolerate anti-Semitism or religious discrimination of any kind. Skidmore seeks to create a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all, and there is no place for discrimination at Skidmore. Skidmore College is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community in which members develop their abilities to live in a complex and interconnected world. In line with this mission, thoughtful, spirited and sometimes challenging discussions are encouraged. We support our students in their efforts to work out student governance and organization.”
Saratoga TODAY also reached out to Nessa Goldhirsch Brown, and Skidmore College’s SGA, but did not receive a response from either.