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  • This isn’t a recent development. As a 2009 graduate of Western I personally experienced the antisemitism that Shirley Osterhaus and Barbara Rofkar promulgate in the schools curriculum, programming, and philosophy. It was at one of Ms. Osterhaus’ World Issues Forum events that o was called a “Dirty Jew”, shouted down from asking a question by audience members who were incited to to so by the speaker, and was referred to as “you people”. The forum and the campus are hardly a place for the free exchange of ideas and debate; rather, they serve to bolster a very antisemitic agenda by solely funding anti-israeli and anti-semetic speakers. Lets get real, the majority of those who attend the anti-israel events hosted on the schools dime are not students. In fact, they are all close friends of Osterhaus and Rofkar and belong to the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center. Osterhaus has a repeatedly abused her position as an instructor (mind you she has no advanced degree) by using her position to pay for speakers to come to Bellingham and speak at events hosted or promoted by Whatcom Peace and Justice…All on Western’s dime. Should we give Ms. Oesterhaus the benefit of the doubt, could she really be expanding students minds and thinking? Considering how every quarter since at least 2005, and likely farther back, Ms. Oesterhaus has included an anti-israel speaker in the Forum series I would say you have an established pattern. Add that to the fact that she has never invited a pro-israel speaker, I’d say she has no intention of expanding or challenging students minds. Finally, let us also touch on the fact that Ms. Osterhaus was fired from her last job at Lutheran Campus Ministries because she tried to place a “Wiccan” curse on students by desecrating the Lutheran student chapel with symbols drawn in holy oil. Apparently this was in retaliation for lutheran students removing baughs from a pine tree on the lutheran student center’s property; however, in her eyes, this was a desecration of her spirit tree that was host to mother natures invisible creatures.

    When I was a student I had to apply for a grant to bring a pro-Israel speaker to Westerns campus. When I signed up to reserve a room for the lecture, I was told that I would be violating the school’s club policy if I didn’t make it a panel of speakers that equally represented both anti- and pro-Israel speakers. Why is it that Ms. Osterhaus is an exception to this? The Jewish students on Westerns campus have been told to be less sensitive but let’s remember that the school has never shelled out a penny for viewpoints opposing Ms. Osterhaus’ agenda. It isn’t a matter of wanting to hear from people I agree with, its a matter of the school paying only for speakers that say subtly (and sometimes overtly) antisemitic things.

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