In response to a lawsuit, U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester on August 14 ordered Georgia Tech to change its campus speech code and to take out wording that prohibits students from any attempt to "injure, harm" or "malign" a person because of "race, religious belief, color, sexual/affectational orientation, national origin, disability, age or gender."
One of the plaintiffs, student Orit Sklar, is identified in the lawsuit as the president of Georgia Tech Hillel. Ms. Sklar took this action as a private individual and not as a representative of the Hillel organization. Neither Georgia Tech Hillel nor the Hillel movement was a party to this suit.
The following letter, published in the April 19 Atlanta Journal Constitution, explains Hillel’s position.
In your article, "Tech Students File Freedom of Speech Suit" (AJC, April 12), one of the plaintiffs, Orit Sklar, is identified as "president of Hillel, a Jewish student organization." While Ms. Sklar is indeed an unpaid student president of Georgia Tech Hillel, her suit is totally unconnected to her role in our organization and in no way represents the views of the local Hillel group or the international movement. Indeed, Hillel includes Jewish students of all political beliefs, family backgrounds, denominational affiliations and sexual orientations. The staff and student officers of Georgia Tech Hillel continue to abide by this policy of openness and to welcome all students to its programs.
Executive Director, Hillels of Georgia