Ithaca College has now hosted two Days of Learning during 2022 in response to swastikas found on campus.
These events are important ways for members of the campus community to connect with and learn more about antisemitism — something they may not necessarily be completely familiar with.
As this is the college’s second event of this nature, it may suggest that this will not be the last time we have a Day of Learning. Bias-related incidents happen on a daily basis and are often hard to identify on the spot and address.
Ithaca College should continue having Days of Learning multiple times throughout the school year. These Days of Learning could span topics like antiracism and critical race theory, gender and sexuality-based civil rights movements, disability advocacy and sexual/relationship abuse awareness.
By taking a proactive approach to dealing with the factors that can lead to bias or discrimination, the environment will become more inclusive. It is not enough to address these topics and move on. They are still prevalent topics in our society, and even if we don’t experience it first-hand, incidents still happen.
“By not having a one-off program, we can approach what is an incredibly complex topic,” Lauren Goldberg, executive director of Hillel at Ithaca College, said. “We can approach it from all different dimensions.”
At the event, a diverse array of backgrounds were able to voice their own opinions and experiences in order to lead the conversation, including topics of microaggressions, stereotyping and prejudices.
Days of Learning do not have to be limited to responses to antisemitism, just as discriminatory incidents are not only experienced by Jewish people. Unreported incidents of bias and microaggressions happen on a daily basis and are not as outwardly identifiable as incidents such as slurs or hate symbols, yet they can be just as harmful.
The past Days of Learning have been a lesson for all of us. As our world only becomes more complicated, the issues we face become more difficult to address and conquer. It is the duty of collegiate institutions to prepare its students to participate as accountable people in whatever field they go into. In the age we live in now, it is impossible to achieve this without understanding and knowing how to deal with bias and discrimination.