The University released a statement Monday clarifying its guidelines on students displaying flags from their residence hall room windows after a student said a University Police Department officer asked him to remove a Palestinian flag hanging from the window of his room in October.
A University Police Department officer allegedly came to the student’s room in Shenkman Hall on Oct. 26 and said the department “received numerous complaints about the flag,” Palestine Legal, an organization that provides legal advice to students in the United States who support Palestine, reported Monday.
After students shared concerns about the incident on social media, the University released a statement saying the Palestinian flag was not banned from campus.
“We encourage students to share their rich diversity of backgrounds, experiences and views with their peers. GW has not banned any flags from its campus; however, the university’s Residential Community Conduct Guidelines prohibit the hanging of any object outside of a residence hall window,” the University statement reads.
The student received a letter from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities on Nov. 3, warning him that if he is listed as the subject of a UPD report in the future, it “may result in disciplinary action taken by the University.”
“As a member of the larger residential community we hope that you will be respectful of your peers and be aware of your behavior. The act of an individual has a profound impact on the community,” the letter reads.
The student responded with a letter to the University on Nov. 4 that asks GW to retract its letter, publicly apologize to him and “clearly state in writing what their policy is with respect to flags/banners, and that this policy is applied evenly.”
Several members of the Student Association Senate said at a meeting Monday night that they were not familiar with GW’s policy on flags, but that they hoped to discuss with administrators how the policy could be implemented more evenly.