May/June 2024Vol. XXXVI No. 5

Statement by MIT Faculty in Support of the Student Encampment on Kresge Lawn

Alliance of Concerned Faculty at MIT

As the Alliance of Concerned Faculty at MIT we support and affirm our students’ right to peaceful political expression and support their rights to free speech. We thus express our support for the students currently staging a peaceful and multi-faith encampment on Kresge Lawn. We invite all MIT teaching faculty – professors, lecturers, instructors and visiting professors – to join us:

The present actions should be recognized in their international context with increasing alarms raised by international organizations ranging from Amnesty International to the International Court of Justice and the World Health Organization. A grave humanitarian crisis is unfolding with the annihilation of the entire healthcare,  scholastic, and academic infrastructure in Palestine, leveling all 12 institutions of higher education in Gaza – killing 95 university professors, 756 teachers, and leaving 608,000 students without access to education. It behooves us, as educators, to acknowledge and condemn the long-term serious damage inflicted on students, fellow educators, and knowledge production in general.

Across US campuses, students, staff, and faculty have been suspended, fired, doxxed, threatened, and harassed for expressing their academic freedom and free speech rights in support of those in distress. 

We stand against the repression of any member of our academic community for exercising their right to free speech and expression of solidarity in the face of human suffering and war. As a result, we support the students’ right to oppose university investments in firms that provide material support to ongoing wars. 

We remind the administration that engaging police to dismantle peaceful protests can prove profoundly destructive to the students, our campus climate, and to the Institute’s reputation. This moment is an opportunity for MIT to take a leadership role in defending freedom of speech and academic freedom, and we call upon our administration to engage in constructive efforts to respond to those who are peacefully expressing moral distress in the face of an ethical and humanitarian crisis and in support for life. 

We affirm MIT student groups who demand that MIT protect Palestinian students and their allies from discrimination, defend their rights to free speech and free expression on campus, and provide a safe environment without exceptions. Such peaceful expression of moral and political concerns in academic settings is a part of a long tradition in which young people find their voice to participate in democracy, and their voices should not be chilled or silenced by threats of arrest or disciplinary proceedings.

We reject bad faith attempts to paint the student encampment as antisemitic or to defame the students as “pro-Hamas”.  The student coalition includes many Jewish students and the celebration of a Passover Seder, to which the MIT community was invited.

We reject irresponsible media coverage that relies on a single source for “the Jewish perspective” at MIT and fails to recognize that our Jewish community is diverse, multivocal, and has many views on the current situation. We encourage media to uphold their values of fairness and balance by publishing interviews with the MIT Jews for Ceasefire (

We understand that trying to make the world a better place for all, is hard, takes patience and time and often looks messier than most might be comfortable with. But we also know that MIT, perhaps unlike any other university in the world, knows how to navigate and use a maker space to its fullest potential.

We call on all faculty – whatever your political views – to stand up for students’, staff’s and faculty’s rights to free speech and political self-expression by making their presence and solidarity known and felt. We invite all MIT teaching faculty – professors, lecturers, instructors and visiting professors – to join the Alliance of Concerned Faculty. Get in touch at