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74 Members of Congress Demand Harvard President Gay Resign in Letter to Governing Board Members

More than 70 members of Congress called for University President Claudine Gay to resign in a letter Friday.
More than 70 members of Congress called for University President Claudine Gay to resign in a letter Friday. By Julian J. Giordano
By Miles J. Herszenhorn and Claire Yuan, Crimson Staff Writers

Updated: December 8, 2023, at 6:46 p.m.

More than 70 members of Congress demanded Harvard President Claudine Gay’s resignation in a letter addressed to University governing board members Friday evening.

The letter, which was led by Rep. Elise M. Stefanik ’06 and largely signed by Republicans, calls for the resignation of Gay, MIT President Sally A. Kornbluth and University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill. The letter comes three days after Gay’s testimony during a House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing about antisemitism on college campuses prompted a wave of backlash.

“Given this moment of crisis, we demand that your boards immediately remove each of these presidents from their positions and that you provide an actionable plan to ensure that Jewish and Israeli students, teachers, and faculty are safe on your campuses,” the letter stated.

“Anything less than these steps will be seen as your endorsement of what Presidents Gay, Magill, and Kornbluth said to Congress and an act of complicity in their antisemitic posture,” the letter added.

Gay faced fierce criticism for not unequivocally stating that calls for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s policies on bullying and harassment. Gay attempted to clarify her remarks in a statement released on Wednesday and then apologized for the impact her testimony had during an interview with The Crimson on Thursday.

“These desperate attempts to try and save their jobs by condemning genocide are too little too late,” the letter stated. “It should not take public backlash nor 24 hours of reflection to realize that calling for genocide is unacceptable.”

A University spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This article will be updated.

—Staff writer Miles J. Herszenhorn can be reached at Follow him on X @mherszenhorn or on Threads @mileshersz.

—Staff writer Claire Yuan can be reached at Follow her on X @claireyuan33.

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