Messages and Statements

NIU Statement on Protesting and Messaging re: Israel and Palestine Conflict

January 26, 2024 

The university acknowledges that members of the NIU community with ties to Israel and/or Palestine are feeling immeasurable loss, pain and frustration as a result of the ongoing and deadly conflict. Whether we gather in community or in protest, the university appeals to all Huskies to use their voices and knowledge to drive change in ways that welcome people to listen, learn and support solutions that are positive and just.

NIU is committed to freedom of expression and open discussion in all matters of public interest. The university is further committed to assuring all members of the university community have the broad latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn. Freedom of expression is everyone’s right and warrants great responsibility. While freedom of expression leaves space for all to engage without expectation of a changed mindset, it is our hope that individuals will recognize that activities that fuel division and conflict do not bring communities together or foster peace.

While differences certainly exist, the university calls on all Huskies to use their voices in a civil and respectful way, as well as understand that hateful speech designed primarily to inflict damage or harm upon members of our shared community goes against NIU’s values and causes fear and anxiety for members of our community. This specifically includes graphics, social posts and chants that may call for the eradication of Jewish people (i.e., “from the river to the sea…”) or equally violent phrases against the people of Palestine. While this speech is considered protected speech, and the intent of the individuals using it is unclear, NIU firmly believes such phrases are abhorrent. Further, any form of racism and discrimination – Islamophobia, xenophobia, antisemitism etc. – is abhorrent and defies the university’s mission, vision and values.

As we work to foster a supportive campus community, there are university resources for our community members. The NIU Center for Student Assistance, Counseling and Consultation Services and the Employee Well-being program stand ready to serve and are here for Huskies. Anyone who feels that their personal safety is in question should contact the NIU Police or their local police department.

Back to top