Today I was told about a demonstration that took place yesterday at Swarthmore where Palestinian students built a fence around the main Swarthmore hall, Parrish. They then dressed as Israeli soldiers and stopped students, questioning them, often harshly, before letting them go into the building. These surprised students were either taken aback, scared, or thought it was a useful demonstration. Although there are some people there who seemed not to agree with this demonstration, this has brought up a lot of discussion about Israel, portraying it in a very negative light. This occurred on the last days of Passover.
A student I know there was very upset. Apparently there was no context placed as to why the actual Israeli government had enhanced security fences, i.e. in response to suicide bombers. This dramatic demonstration apparently had the approval of the Swarthmore administration, which allowed them to build this fence.
It seems to me that this is an invasion of a student's privacy, to be stopped and searched like this. I am posting because I am advising a student about going to Swarthmore, and now I think that, as she is shy and nonpolitical, this would not be a good place for her. I think that somewhere friendlier would be better. What do you think? She has other good choices, and I think this would scare her.