Calling a Columbia University report on charges of student intimidation by professors a "whitewash," angry students and faculty yesterday said they may call for an independent inquiry into their complaints.
The report, released by a committee of five faculty members, did not address dozens of gripes from Jewish students that they had been harassed by Middle East studies instructors — focusing instead on three alleged instances of intimidation.
The committee, which was the second body created by the university in recent years to tackle the issue, found just one of the instances credible.
"It's a whitewash and it's offensive," said freshman Alexandra Polsky. "There's a feeling on campus that there is a status quo of opinions, and if you dare challenge it, you have to be overly prepared to defend yourself."
Ariel Beery, a senior whose group Columbians for Academic Freedom has been at the forefront of the simmering controversy, said the report was "the second strike against Columbia when it comes to students' rights."
He called the committee's finding that statements made by pro-Palestinian faculty were not anti-Semitic "deeply insulting" — not because it is false but because student complaints were about intimidation, not racism.
He spoke before upward of 60 students and faculty members who gathered at the front gates of campus to protest the report.