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USC faces a federal investigation into alleged violations of Title VI, after a complaint was filed that said the university failed to protect a Jewish student from discrimination. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has launched an investigation into alleged Title VI violations by the University of Southern California. The investigation comes two years after a complaint was filed on behalf of a student government leader who resigned following a campaign by USC students to impeach her over her support of Israel.

The investigation could shed light on a heated debate over the relationship between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, and its results could have wide-ranging implications for antidiscrimination practices and freedom of speech on college campuses.

In the summer of 2020, USC students launched a campaig n to impeach the president and vice president of the university student government (USG), whom they accused of racism. The president, Truman Fritz, resigned on the day of his impeachment hearing. Vice president Rose Ritch, who is Jewish, was next in line for the top position—but she quickly faced calls for her own impeachment from students who claimed her support of Israel was racist and disqualified her from representing the student body. […]

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