The ZOA began receiving phone calls from students and concerned families on March 31, reporting that FAU’s SJP organization had posted fake eviction notices on hundreds of on-campus residences. The notice misappropriated the seal of Palm Beach County, Florida, which may have been a violation of the law despite the use of a disclaimer. Palm Beach County Attorneys sent a Cease and Desist order to FAU’s SJP, according to an Assistant Palm Beach County Administrator.
The fake eviction notices also included a seal and authorization stamp from FAU’s Student Housing Authority, which were, in fact, issued by the university. Despite this, Dr. Charles Brown, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, said the university did not condone or authorize the fliers. According to SJP, an as-yet-to-be-identified FAU employee actually escorted the group as they posted the papers on dorm doors and elevators. Nevertheless, FAU has publicly recognized that, “the recent mock eviction postings did not comply with the policies of University Housing and Residential Life or the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership concerning the distribution of printed material.”
Importantly, FAU has accepted responsibility for the incident, both publicly and in conversation with ZOA, in so far as a university employee seems to have improperly provided the stamp of approval and escorted SJP members. The ZOA believes these actions were clearly a matter of administrative recklessness and were not intentional.
In their statement, the ZOA “strongly urges Florida Atlantic University to take several steps to safeguard against an anti-Semitic environment on campus.”
The steps recommended by ZOA include:
• Immediately speaking out and publicly condemning the anti-Semitic acts of Students for Justice in Palestine both on and off campus;
• Applying strict scrutiny to all of SJP’s activities, past present and future, and applying appropriate disciplinary measures under the University’s code;
• Implementing all necessary protocol and procedures to prevent any apparent endorsement by FAU of any of SJP’s activities; and
• Promoting education among administration officials and staff about the University’s obligation under Title VI to ensure a campus environment that is physically and emotionally safe and conducive to learning for all students.