An anti-Zionist event held on Rutgers' campus by BAKA - Students for Middle East Peace was advertised as free, but organizers decided to start charging once more pro-Israel protesters started arriving, as confirmed by a statement by Rutgers University officials to The Examiner. The University explained: "The organizers had originally advertised a suggested donation of five to twenty dollars upon entry. At the event, the organizers chose to impose a five dollar entrance fee on attendees."
Charging for entry all of a sudden was actually contrary to guidelines set out by Rutgers own office of scheduling, which stated in a phone call that all details need to be confirmed three weeks prior to an event, including whether there would be an entry fee.
Charging was likely an attempt to prevent any recording of the discussion. Why would a record be damaging? Because the event, "Never Again for Anyone," likened Israel's role in the Israel-Palestine conflict to Nazis in World War II. When protesters arrived, the organizer claimed that the event had never been advertised as free. (For more, see my Sunday post: Student anti-Zionists bar Jews, pro-Israel advocates from "free and open" event)
Here's the statement in full:
On the evening of Saturday, January 29, an event was held by the organization American Muslims for Palestine in Trayes Hall at the Douglass Campus Center of Rutgers University.The organization is presenting its program at colleges, universities and community organizations around the country. A number of campus student groups worked with them to publicize the program. The event also drew protesters.
The university wishes to correct a number of assertions that have appeared in some published reports of the event:
Rutgers University was not the sponsor of Saturday evening's event at the Douglass Campus Center.
American Muslims for Palestine leased a hall inside the center from the university and paid the cost of the event. The organizers hired two off-duty officers to assist with security and crowd control.
The organizers had originally advertised a suggested donation of five to twenty dollars upon entry. At the event, the organizers chose to impose a five dollar entrance fee on attendees. Some attendees attempted to enter the venue without paying the fee or through unauthorized entrances, including fire doors.
Contrary to published reports, Rutgers University Police did not bar anyone who paid the fee -- which was imposed by the organizers who leased the space -- from entering the hall. Police assisted in facilitating access to the hall and crowd control. Individuals who declined to pay the entrance fee, or who wished to protest the event, gathered inside the student center."