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Student Activism at University of Maryland

A guide to researching student activism at UMD using student newspapers.

Religious organizations, particularly Jewish student groups, have played an active role in campus activism. Jewish student groups became especially active in advocating for political and social change in the 1980s, and their activities are highlighted in the Jewish student newspaper Mitzpeh. Other religious groups likely participated in student activism as well, but the advocacy of Jewish students is particularly well documented by Mitzpeh. Jewish student groups have been active on issues of Israel-Palestine relations, in advocating against anti-Semitism on campus, and in international issues related to the Jewish diaspora. 

Students Will Lobby House, Senate to Help Soviet Jewish Emigration

1984 - Jewish students took part in a National Soviet Jewry Lobby Day. Students lobbied congressmen to protest the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union and called for the United States to relax restrictions on Soviet emigration.

Hundreds of Students Rally Against Kwame Ture

1986 - Jewish students protested when Black Power advocate Kwame Ture was invited to speak on campus by the Black Student Union. In his speech Ture condemned the U.S., Israel, and Zionism and Jewish students protested his comments as anti-Semitic.

Justice and Peace Group Promotes Leftist Views

1988 - Jewish students and faculty on campus formed the Jewish Committee for Justice and Peace to counter right-wing voices in the Jewish community on campus. The group promoted leftist views on a variety of social, political, and economic issues.

Evangelical Christians Support Israel on Campus

2007 - UMD students joined Christians United for Israel, an evangelical group supporting Israel. Both Christian and Jewish students on campus had mixed reactions to the arrival of this group on campus.

Students Confront Jews for Jesus

1990 - Jewish students involved with Hillel and the Jewish Student Union confronted the missionary group Jews for Jesus, arguing against their efforts to convert students at the University of Maryland.

'Spread Hummus, Not Hate' Jewish and Muslim Advocates Rally at UMD for Unity

2017 - Members of the Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Forum gathered on campus to advocate for unity amidst racial tensions in the U.S.