May 8, 2019, New York – Today, attorneys asked a New York State Supreme Court judge to allow a new student petitioner, sophomore Veer Shetty, to join a lawsuit against Fordham University over the school’s refusal to allow a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) club on campus. Fordham opposed Veer joining the lawsuit and has barred students from forming an SJP since the club was approved by the student government in 2016. The original four petitioners who brought the lawsuit in April 2017 have graduated or will graduate in ten days. Judge Nancy Bannon indicated that parties should expect a decision next week.
“I’m still at Fordham, I still want to form an SJP, and I will continue this lawsuit until I am able to organize freely for Palestinian human rights at my school,” said Veer Shetty, Fordham class of 2021, who was seeking to be added to the case today.
The lawsuit argues that Fordham’s veto of the student government’s approval of SJP was arbitrary and capricious, violating the school’s own policies guaranteeing free expression. In November 2017–after two of the original four petitioners had graduated–attorneys asked the court for a prompt order directing Fordham to recognize the SJP club. The court has not yet ruled on that request.