Survey suggests employers punish protestors, toss out job offers

Over 3,100 people have been arrested or detained on campuses across the country, The New York Times reports.

Nearly one in three U.S. college students (29%) who have participated in pro-Palestine campus protests have had a job offer revoked in the last six months. Over two-thirds said cited their activism as the main roadblock, according to a new survey from Intelligent, an online publication for prospective college students.

Intelligent polled nearly 700 recent or current college students, including those at the graduate level, who searched for jobs within the past six months. Over half said employers always, often or sometimes inquired about their protest history (53%). About the same number also believe there is bias against pro-Palestine activists.

Some respondents hid their activism from employers by not mentioning it, seeking jobs with supportive organizations and removing online evidence. Of the 445 respondents who told Intelligent they disclosed their pro-Palestine activism, 21% received negative feedback from employers regarding their activism, and 8% experienced negative comments during interviews.

“Political views should never be factored into a candidate’s qualifications during the hiring process,” Huy Nguyen, Intelligent’s chief education and career development advisor told CNBC Make it about a similar survey conducted last month with business leaders. That survey found that 22% of the 1,268 business leaders were less likely to hire pro-Palestine student activists, fearing they may cause distractions and disruptions in the workplace

“Not only is it unethical, but there is no meaningful bearing on the ability of a candidate to perform the responsibilities of the job,” Nguyen added.

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One University of Chicago finance student interning at a New York hedge fund was told he did not receive a full-time offer due to the “symbols” he displayed on his social media account, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in January. The student, who is of Palestinian descent, believes the employers were referring to a Palestine flag emoji he displayed on his Instagram bio. He has since removed it, along with a Syrian flag, from his social media accounts.

“It pains me,” he told the Sun-Times. “I wish we didn’t live in a world where we look at your Instagram bio and see a flag and decide that means something.”

Over 3,100 people have been arrested or detained on campuses across the country, The New York Times reported. More than 100 were arrested at Cornell Columbia University following President Minouche Shafik’s testimony before Congress in April. Administrators at the University of Chicago, UCLA, the University of Texas at Austin and more have threatened to place a “hold” on student protestors’ academic records or withhold their degrees.

Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and first-generation journalism graduate from the University of Florida. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador and Brazil.

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