November 27, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 44°F


Editorial: College community needs to address antisemitism

“Never Again.”

Five separate incidents of vandalism depicting swastikas have been reported on Ithaca College’s campus since January 2022. While the reports are currently being investigated, the proximity of these incidents has many people feeling angry, confused and exhausted.

“These types of cases are difficult to solve because you either need an eye witness or you need a pattern of behavior or you need a suspect,” Tom Dunn, associate director and deputy chief in the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management, said.

The likelihood of these cases being solved is not promising. There were no witnesses or security cameras in the areas where the vandalisms occurred. The idea of these acts having unidentified culprits has many on campus weary of their peers. 

“What if nothing is done? What if it keeps happening? What if…”

Antisemitic incidents reported in the U.S. reached an all time high in 2021 with vandalism accounting for 31% of those incidents, according to the Anti Defamation League. But antisemitism is nothing new. Any time an act of violence occurs, similar discussions of antisemitism break out, leaving Jewish people feeling profoundly and deeply targeted.

“Where do we go from here?” 

Since the initial incident, Ithaca College’s Jewish community has proved to be incredibly resilient. After every incident, the college has released firm statements condeming antisemitism. On Oct. 11, the campus gathered to process and cope together. 

When an incident of hate or bias happens, it is never easy to deal with. Regardless of the intention, its consequences are felt on indescribably profound levels, especially by the persons or groups that have been targeted. Words and actions have meaning beyond face value. A swastika is not just a symbol. It harbors the pain and grief and hatred that happened less than a lifetime ago.

“What can I do?” 

Discrimination has no place at the college. Being an ally is the first step. Tolerance of intolerance is not justice. Let people know when something is offensive. Fill out the Bias Impact Reporting Form. Engage in discussion about why xenophobia is dangerous. Connect with the community that has been hurt. Advocacy begins with solidarity. 

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