U-M statement regarding CSG resolutions and ongoing campus tensions

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

As the violence in Gaza and Israel enters its third month, many at the University of Michigan are truly hurting. Some have seen friends or family members killed. Others with ties to the region worry what the future will look like after so much suffering. Still others in our community have been afflicted by the hatred and prejudice that still drives us apart and torments our world.

In one particular instance, two of our students have been targeted, slandered, and harassed after being accused of stealing a list of campus emails. Let me be clear – the allegations against these two women are unequivocally false. The university email system was not hacked. Not only are the claims spurious; they are dangerous. The students have faced angry calls for their expulsion, hateful intimidation and physical threats.

It needs to stop.

The issues raised by the ongoing violence in the Middle East are ripping our community apart, pitting one group against another and engendering very real fears about safety and security on our campus.

Nationwide, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Anti-Defamation League have both reported significant increases in bias events targeting members of the Jewish, Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab communities and allies to these communities since Oct. 7. Incidents have included online hatred and gun violence as well as physical assaults and homicide. The rise in hateful prejudice across our country and the world must not gain footing in our own community.

It needs to stop.

After great thought and input, one significant step we are taking is to disallow any future votes on two controversial and divisive Central Student Government resolutions – AR 13-025 and AR 13-026 – related to ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza. The proposed resolutions have done more to stoke fear, anger and animosity on our campus than they would ever accomplish as recommendations to the university.

Additionally, the proposals have generated an involuntary and unwarranted amount of outside negative attention on a community whose primary objective is to learn, to teach, to research and to serve.

It needs to stop.

I have heard you. The university leadership has heard you. We’ve heard your voices through the content of the petitions, through the thousands of email messages, and through the numerous rallies, protests and vigils.

We continue to hear you.

In the coming weeks I, and my leadership team, will schedule meetings with student leaders on varying sides of this issue to discuss real and tangible ways for our university to address the concerns. This is a commitment and a promise.

Each of us hopes for peace. Each of us desires justice. In the tradition of my own faith, I ask that each of us also considers how we can best love our neighbors as ourselves as we close out the remainder of the semester and move forward as a campus community.


Santa J. Ono


Endorsed by the following members of the University of Michigan Board of Regents:

Regent Jordan B. Acker
Regent Michael J. Behm
Regent Mark J. Bernstein
Regent Paul W. Brown
Regent Sarah Hubbard
Regent Denise Ilitch
Regent Ron Weiser