Skidmore student government reverses course, recognizes progressive Zionists club 

March 22, 2021

After meeting with founders of Progressive Zionists for Peace, Skidmore College’s student government has approved the club for its required trial period before officially recognizing the student organization.

Skidmore’s student government committee, which approves clubs, met Friday with the founders of Progressive Zionists for Peace, a student organization that was originally denied recognition from the committee because the group is both “dialogue focused” and conveys “one perspective.”

FIRE wrote to Skidmore’s president on March 17 to urge the college to recognize PZP so as not to default on its strong promises of freedom of expression and freedom of association. 

Although Nessa Goldhirsch Brown, the club’s founder, told the Washington Free Beacon that the club’s denial was not based on anti-Semitism, it was a clear violation of students’ right to associate with likeminded individuals on campus, an impermissible outcome at a college that promises its students associational rights.

FIRE urged the student government to grant PZP its trial period. If it failed to do so, it would be up to Skidmore’s administration to live up to its laudable commitment to students’ expressive rights and grant PZP the same rights as recognized student organizations.

We applaud Skidmore’s student government for ultimately reversing course and recognizing PZP in a viewpoint-neutral manner. We hope Skidmore’s student government continues to comply with the college’s commendable promises of freedom of expression as it considers other prospective organizations in the future.


Schools:  Skidmore College

Cases:  Skidmore College: Student Government Refuses to Recognize Progressive Zionist Club