After opening an investigation into a Muslim student club, Queens College’s president, Frank Wu, has faced major backlash by the student body, being labeled as islamophobic.
This culminated at the “Condemn Frank Wu’s Hypocrisy” protest yesterday that saw over 50 students and faculty attend. Among “Free Palestine” chants, the crowd heavily criticized President Wu for opening an investigation — in accordance with the NYPD — into the Muslim Student Association (MSA).
“It’s a tactic we’re seeing a lot these days from supporters of Israel’s genocide like President Wu,” said Jane Guskin, an urban studies professor at Queens College and member of the CUNY for Palestine organization.
This protest was the latest of a series of rallies on the Queens College campus, but was the first directed at Queens College’s administration. It is one of many protests happening on college campuses around the country as dozens of State Department employees have expressed their desire for a cease-fire to the Secretary of State, according to The New York Times.
“I had to come here thinking will my identity be posted online? Scholarships, opportunities get denied just for being here and opposing the thing the United States claims to be against,” said an unnamed student over a megaphone at the protest.
The protest held outside of Kiely Hall where most administrators, including President Wu, have their offices, saw over 20 police officers present. Students from other schools were in attendance. President Wu was at a talk and book signing event in the Dining Hall at the time of the protest.
Students wrote messages in chalk such as “Frank Wu has no humanity” and “Free Palestine” all across campus. Additionally, the crowd exclaimed chants of, “Wu we are not scared of you” and “Wu shame on you, you are killing babies too” among others.
The protest, hosted by the Queens College Students Justice for Palestine (QCSJP) organization, was in response to President Wu’s email condemning MSA’s Instagram stories this past week.
“His exclusionary language and deliberate enforcement of policing has enabled campus and online islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia within the QC community,” wrote the QCJSP on Instagram.
“We feel targeted and ousted,” the MSA told The Knight News.
The following are two Instagram stories posted by MSA’s social media team that went viral and were posted the day prior to President Wu’s email condemning them:
“Queens College strongly denounces such obviously false and misleading posts that in no way represent the views of Queens College,” President Wu wrote in the email.
Chief Diversity Officer and Dean of Diversity Jerima DeWese told The Knight News that the Office of Compliance and Diversity (C&D) are currently investigating several posts from the MSA. President Wu revealed in his email that the college will cooperate with the NYPD in this investigation.
“Social media posts are among the matters of concern that C&D addresses in its role creating and implementing policies, procedures, and practices that align with the college’s values and ideals—including fairness and compliance,” DeWese said.
“We know our rights were violated, and we will not tolerate the racial stigma and community fearmongering perpetuated throughout Wu’s many communications with the student body,” wrote the QCSJP.
All of Queens College’s posts on Instagram since President Wu’s email condemning MSA’s posts have been flooded with comments shaming Queens College for their handling of the situation.
The Knight News is currently awaiting comment from the college for further details, which the Communications office have confirmed The Knight News will receive.