Vanderbilt U. Students Object to Institution’s Possible Ties With Arab Nation

Even before Vanderbilt University has finalized any plans, students are objecting to the institution’s interest in developing educational ties with the United Arab Emirates. Two students have started a new group, Students Against Vanderbilt in the Emirates, or Save, which will “work to combat the perception that a Vanderbilt campus in Abu Dhabi would benefit the university, the city of Nashville, or the state of Tennessee,” according to a statement. The group’s organizers say they are worried about anti-Israeli government policies, workers’ and gay rights abuses, and the lack of academic freedom, citing recent news about the detention of Nasser bin Ghaith, a political activist and lecturer at the Sorbonne campus in Abu Dhabi.

They outlined their concerns in a recent opinion article in the Vanderbilt student newspaper. The newspaper last week reported that Vanderbilt’s chancellor met with Abu Dhabi officials to discuss potential cooperation.

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