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The U.S. Education Department has added George Mason University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to the list of colleges and universities it is investigating for alleged discrimination based on shared ancestry.

In updating the list, the department does not say what possible violations it is investigating under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires federally funded institutions to protect students from discrimination based on race, color or national origin. 

Like many campuses, UNC Chapel Hill has been the site of numerous protests and sit-ins by students over the Israel-Hamas conflict, and pro-Palestinian students have accused the university’s administration of a “hostile climate” and Islamophobia.

George Mason, according to news reports, has faced accusations of permitting antisemitic behavior (in the tearing down of posters about hostages held by Hamas) and of deleting emails from pro-Palestinian students who were critical of a statement by the university’s president.

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has seen an influx in complaints alleging antisemitism or Islamophobia on college campuses since the Israel-Hamas war began in early October. Since then, the department has opened dozens of investigations into complaints about a K-12 school district or a college. The agency began publicly listing institutions under investigation in mid-November.