Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Communication - Corporate Communication



First Advisor

Richardo Woods

Second Advisor

Valeria Biwa


The issue of Antisemitism on college campuses in the United States has gained significant attention following the terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7th, 2023. This discriminatory behavior, hate speech versus free speech, and academia's role in the geopolitical climate have sparked protests and raised questions about the responsibility of universities today. It has even led to high-profile presidents from institutions such as Harvard, MIT, and UPenn being called to testify before a congressional oversight committee. These university presidents and others have been the subject of ongoing flak in the public sphere. As a result, there have been resignations and ongoing protests across university campuses nationally, prompting a national conversation on the issue.

This case study delves into the interactions between Antisemitism, the First Amendment, and Academic Freedoms on college campuses. It looks closely at why Antisemitism has become a crisis on campuses such as Harvard, MIT & UPenn. By examining the communication, or lack thereof, from these institutions during the crisis. Thus establishing the importance of crisis communication, particularly in a geopolitical climate. The study also highlights how their crisis communication failures contributed to the escalation of the crisis.



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