Sophomore Micah Lubens thinks that a Nazi dictator would be a poor choice to lead Fulbright Hall, and he wants you to know.
Lubens is running for president of the Residential Advisory Council and is being criticized by neighbors and house scholars for pointing out the differences between himself and Adolf Hitler in his campaign materials. He printed and hung the campaign posters Monday afternoon, prompting Jewish leaders on campus to voice their concerns.
“Do you want this man running Fulbright?” read the text on the poster, above a photo of Hitler. “Vote for Micah Lubens for RAC President because hey he couldn’t be worse than Hitler.”
An image of Lubens, who is Jewish, is featured below the Nazi dictator – wearing a football jersey surfing Facebook on his computer.
“Anti-Semitism is unacceptable and inappropriate, and even more so when it comes from a Jewish student,” said sophomore Arielle Krieger, communications director for the Jewish Student Association. “I think (Lubens being Jewish) even makes it worse because it provokes and encourages others.”
Lubens said students tore down most of his signs Tuesday evening. While he understands why students are offended, he thinks many are merely shocked by Hitler’s image.
“I’m not saying that Hitler was a good guy. I’m saying Hitler was a bad guy and I couldn’t be worse than Hitler,” Lubens said. “It was a sick joke, I agree, but for there to be such outrage, I don’t agree with that.”
The University did not discipline Lubens, and nor was he disqualified from the election – which took place Wednesday. He said he is still confident he will win. The results of the election were not available by press time.
Kelly Bradin, a house scholar in Fulbright, said the four house scholars in the building met with the community director on Tuesday night after a student complained. They determined since the election was the next day, the signs could stay up.
“We hadn’t really set any guidelines (for election materials),” Bradin said. “We basically said that if there was something that was vulgar that it would be taken down.”
“I know that he’s a good leader and he has a lot of friends in the building,” said sophomore Maisie Bornstein, a friend of Lubens who voted for him Wednesday. “So he was just making a joke and he didn’t mean anything serious by it.”
Director of Hillel Robert Fishman said the signs were insensitive to the Jewish community.
“Any reference to Hitler is neither amusing nor appropriate in a situation like this,” Fishman said. “I think that frankly the posters should be taken down and he should be chastised for what he’s been doing.”
Students walking into the dorm Wednesday afternoon said they did not feel Lubens used an appropriate approach in his campaign.
“He’s definitely got balls for putting Hitler on there,” said Alex Hutkin, a sophomore. “But I think he could have brought attention to himself in a better way by not putting Hitler on the sign.”
Lubens said the controversy during the election would not transfer into his presidency, if elected. He would not make politically incorrect jokes, he said, because once elected, he would represent the residence hall.
“If I win, it’s water under the bridge,” Lubens said. “And we all have to work together in the dorm.”