The Student Association’s top two leaders released a statement Thursday condemning a senator’s past Facebook comments about Jewish student organizations that have outraged many on campus.
In the statement, SA President Peak Sen Chua and Executive Vice President Sydney Nelson said they were “aware” of the senator’s comments and denounced them, saying the SA does not “tolerate religiously insensitive and offensive behavior or language, and anti-Semitism is not acceptable in any form.”
“It is disheartening to see a student perpetuate and share discriminatory beliefs against the diverse Jewish community,” the statement read. “We reaffirm our commitment to creating spaces where all students feel safe and welcomed.”
Sen. Brady Forrest, G-at-Large and a former candidate for executive vice president, was accused of anti-Semitism Monday after old Facebook posts were resurfaced in the student Facebook group “Overheard at GW.” In one of the posts in 2014, Forrest called for a boycott of a multicultural event because two Jewish student organizations, which he said supported an Israeli invasion of Gaza the previous summer, were co-sponsoring the event.
The posts drew swift backlash, as students called for Forrest to suspend his campaign and apologize for the comments. On Wednesday, Forrest was overwhelmingly defeated in his bid for executive vice president and nearly 70 student leaders signed onto a letter calling for him to resign from the senate.
Forrest has repeatedly said the posts were not anti-Semitic and attempted to criticize political ideology, not Judaism.
In the statement, Chua and Nelson called on other members of the SA to hold each other accountable for promoting an “inclusive and respectful campus culture.”
“Student organizations should be a point of community, not division,” the statement read.