BALTIMORE (Oct. 28)
The Diamondback, the student newspaper of the University of Maryland, denied today that any motive of anti-Semitism was involved in a recent incident in which an instructor in a German class scheduled an examination for the first day of Rosh Hashanah. The paper had earlier reported that the instructor later canceled the examination.
In an editorial commenting on protests arising from the paper’s publication of the incident, “from people who read allegations of rampant anti-Semitism into our previous editorial,” the Diamondback announced that it had “conducted an investigation of the problems of the Jewish student on this campus” and that it had found “no trace of anti-Semitism in any area of this University’s administration.
“Although this does not mean that there are no anti-Semites on the campus,” the editorial declared, “we feel confident that the administration and faculty are as free from bigotry as is possible in a liberal institution of this size.” Referring to the incident involving the German instructor, the editorial said that it was a mix-up “subject to misunderstanding” and added: “We are convinced that neither the department nor the teacher acted intolerantly, but the action and words of both were misinterpreted.”
The paper cited the university administration policy which provides that all absences for religious reasons be excused and takes the stand that no examinations be given on religious holidays. It noted that calendars are supplied to all departments and religious holidays are generally taken into consideration.
In another statement, Rabbi Meyer Greenberg, Hillel director at the university, said that the original report on the incident giving rise to charges of anti-Semitism was due to “a misunderstanding by the editorial writer” of the Diamondback.
Noting that he had also investigated the incident, Rabbi Greenberg said that Hillel had “found the administration generally understanding of the rights and needs of religious groups and cooperative in the solution of problem situations. University policy is very clear,” he declared, “Jewish students are permitted free exercise of their religion and are given excused absences for all Jewish holidays.”