In the wake of IvyGate’s Hell Week, you probably thought that any non-violent Ivy student group that didn’t encourage its members to hurl folding chairs at law enforcement personnel would be safe from police department hit lists. Not so! Today, the Associated Press revealed that the NYPD has been monitoring Muslim Student Associations at 16 college campuses in the (very broadly defined) New York area, including Yale, Columbia, and Penn.
According to an internal memo obtained by AP reporters—one of the NYPD’s “Weekly MSA Reports”—NYPD Cyber-Intelligence officers conducted a “daily routine” inspection of various MSA blogs and forums and recorded which students were advertising educational conferences, among other terrorism-related activities.
But their monitoring efforts went even further: an undercover cop went on a whitewater rafting trip with Muslim students from the City College of New York in 2008 and reportedly had a student informant at Syracuse University. Yes, whitewater rafting. Because that’s where you pall around with terrorists: in a raging river! Everybody knows that. (And seriously, a student informant? That kid who you thought just showed up to the meetings for the free food was actually coming under the orders of a police force 250 miles away?)
Though the Ivy chapters were certainly on the NYPD’s watch list, it’s not clear that any of them were subject to a special amount of scrutiny. None of the more egregious (and sillier) methods of surveillance cited in the article were employed at Ivy League schools. A source from the Penn MSA told IvyGate that Penn officials have contacted the NYPD, who stated that no Penn students were being monitored. Good to know that you can just call them up and ask! Read the rest of this entry »