The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

Clark Alum Accused of Hate Speech on Instagram

Concerns Raised About @jewishstrong Instagram Lead to Possible Change in ClarkCONNECT Terms of Service

An Instagram account that once drew a following for its coverage of Clark history has been criticized by a graduate student who alleges that the account’s owner has “coordinated harassment campaigns against Clark students.”

The student, Apple Gould-Schultz, is a recent alumna now pursuing a master’s degree at Clark. In an email addressed to The Scarlet, along with the President’s Office, Career Services, and members of Clark’s Web and Social Media teams, Gould-Schultz claims that the account, @jewishstrong, is “dedicated to posting anti-Arab, racist, white supremacist content.” The email was sent on February 29. It is important to note that another email, sent by a student to Dean of Students Kamala Kiem on October 16th, alerted administration to the account, but until Gould-Schultz’s email, there did not seem to be a response by Clark leadership.

In the message, Gould-Schultz noted that the University’s official Instagram account (@clarkuniversity) followed @jewishstrong. A check of the account’s followers list revealed that the Clark Alumni Association (@clarkalumni) and Dean Kiem (@dean_kiem) also followed the account as of February 29th. By March 4, all three university-affiliated accounts had unfollowed @jewishstrong. 

Gould-Schultz alleges that the @jewishstrong account is run by Clark alumnus Mike Mooney ’93 MBA ’94, who is involved with the ClarkCONNECT platform as a currently active “student career search mentor.” ClarkCONNECT is a university-run website connecting current students with alumni. Mooney works as a Surveillance and Investigations Manager at State Street Bank in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Gould-Schultz’s email calls for the Career Connections Center, which runs ClarkCONNECT, to remove Mooney from the platform. “Mooney’s rhetoric is dangerous to the student population and his actions online are indicative that he is not fit to provide advice and guidance to my peers,” wrote Gould-Schultz.

In response to her complaint, Gould-Schultz took a meeting with Clark’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on March 12. 

“Because of my email they are updating how alumni are allowed to participate [on ClarkCONNECT] in terms of responsibility,” Gould-Schultz told The Scarlet. “They are adjusting the terms of use and will require all current and new alumni who wish to participate in this to agree to new terms,” she said. 

According to notes taken by Gould-Schultz during the meeting, Clark is also reaching out to Mooney to ask him to remove participation in ClarkCONNECT from his LinkedIn page as it is “putting students in danger,” Gould-Schultz said. They are planning on reaching out to Mooney, but are doing so carefully so as to not put students in further danger, she said. 

We are still determining whether we will reach out directly to Mr. Mooney,” Dean Kiem later clarified in an email to The Scarlet. “We are reviewing all information available to us to make this determination. In the meantime, we are moving towards updating terms of use / creating guidelines for all on the ClarkConnect platform; additionally, we will be cleaning up all inactive profiles,” she said.

Gould-Schultz was also told that administrators are willing to provide support to student victims of doxxing in order to ensure their safety.

The @jewishstrong account

In the bio of the account under fire, the account author writes, “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us ❤️ 🇮🇱🇺🇸 – Gold a Meir.” The profile also contains a link to a Facebook page, and an option to buy merchandise.

The bio quote comes from Israeli politician Golda Meir, as part of a 1957 speech delivered in Washington, D.C.

Sent in by the student after the original email, a @jewishstrong post (last image in the gallery) from March 10 shows a man at a protest holding a sign saying “Exchange each hostage for 100 Pro-Hamas US students. Good for Israel, good for USA, good for Hamas, EDUCATIONAL FOR STUDENTS.” It is captioned “Start at @clarkuniversity first!!” insinuating that Clark University students should face consequences for supporting Palestinian liberation.

The third image in the gallery is of a February 28 post by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) condemning Canary Mission, a website that JVP writes “seeks to vilify principled activists for Palestinian human rights with targeted campaigns of misinformation, bigotry and slander.” 

The caption, written by the owner of the @jewishstrong account, states: “LOL JVP! This warms the cockles of my heart. These stupid kids in college will get their due. They are likely on lists based on the social media posts and comments. Good luck on the job hunt!” The post is paired with Inner Circle’s song “Bad Boys,” of “Cops” reality TV fame.

The second image in the gallery is of a February 27 post details an alleged summary of a hostage deal that Israel offered to Hamas. The hostage deal would result in the trade of 40 Israeli hostages for 400 Palestinian prisoners. The caption reads, “For all of you Jew Haters out there, these terrorist scum are worth so much less than ours and you know it! Why not trade one for one? We value life and you do not.”

The first image in the gallery is of another @jewishstrong post from January 27 shows an infographic with the text “If you support Hamas [sic] you are not innocent” surrounding a black, green and red silhouette of Adolf Hitler with white Arabic text as his mustache. @jewishstrong writes, “If you support Hamas, go with your god [sic] Credit to Amit Baldinger for the creative, which sadly, is so true.”

Action Items for Clark Administration

​In addition to alerting The Scarlet and Clark administrators of the existence of the account, Gould-Schultz informed university leadership that “In the face of a Clark student facing disciplinary action for writing on a whiteboard in CMACD, the university has shown it is content with complicity.” That point is followed by more encouragement to remove Mike Mooney from the Clark community, and an acknowledgment that the student “understand[s] the actions the administration is taking is to avoid antisemitism or accusations of antisemitism.”

Additionally, she states that the administration “must reinforce that support of a Free Palestine is not a call for the extermination of the Jewish people, but a call for the liberation of a population experiencing a horrific genocide for their race, culture, and religion.”

Editor’s note: a correction was made on March 19 to clarify the next steps that the Dean of Students’ office may take. Context from a student tip to The Scarlet was also added.

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  • Chris Caesar ~ Mar 20, 2024 at 11:59 am

    Class of ’06 and former Scarlet Exec Editor here. This is a really great piece. Thanks for writing it. I hope the administration takes it seriously. They’ve really fumbled the ball on this issue in many ways over the last academic year.

  • Lily Brown ~ Mar 16, 2024 at 10:05 pm

    Jewishstrong blocked me after i called them out. What a waste. That account could actually mean something for jewish students if it wasn’t so horrifically bigoted

  • Casey Campellone ~ Mar 16, 2024 at 8:51 pm

    Incredibly concerning that it took the time and energy from a student in danger in order to deal with a serious problem when admin needed to be seriously more proactive here. Seems like inaction and complicity is an unfortunate pattern with them recently.

  • Megan Morrill ~ Mar 16, 2024 at 8:20 am

    I am so impressed by the research and dedication of Apple Gould-Schultz.