The University of Wisconsin released a statement Tuesday condemning recent antisemitic incidents on campus.
In the statement, UW said the antisemitic incidents included a swastika carved into a bathroom stall in a residential community, slurs yelled at a UW student on Langdon Street and an individual who reported they were harassed for “looking Jewish.”
“Antisemitism is wrong and it will not be tolerated at UW–Madison,” UW said in the statement. “We are working to support all community members and increasing our educational efforts to prevent bias incidents from happening in the future.”
Anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi graffiti on UW campus under investigationThe University of Wisconsin Police Department is investigating anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi graffiti found on a campus building Sunday evening. UWPD Read…
In an email to the Herald, President and CEO of the UW Hillel Foundation Greg Steinberger said many Jewish students don’t feel UW supports them enough, so the message was appreciated.
“We really welcome the strong, clear, and important statement that the University released today on antisemitism,” Steinberger said.
UWPD has investigated multiple incidents of antisemitic and neo-Nazi graffiti on and around campus over the past years. The university encourages community members to report antisemitic incidents to their hate and bias tip line.
The majority of Jewish college students feel safe and supported on campus, according to an Anti-Defamation League survey. But antisemitic incidents continue to rise across the country, growing by 27% in the last year.
One-third of Jewish college students experienced antisemitism on campus in 2020, according to the report. The ADL report found 32% of Jewish students experienced direct antisemitism and 79% of them experienced it more than once. Most of the students who experienced antisemitism didn’t report it, meaning acts of antisemitism are likely even more prevalent.
“It saddens us; these are real incidents happening to real Jewish people and college students and that can really have an impact,” Steinberger said.
Hillel and other campus partners are working with UW to ensure safety and support for all Jewish students on campus, Steinberger said.
One way UW plans to prevent antisemitic incidents is by increasing educational efforts against bias, UW’s statement said. Steinberger said students should call out antisemitism when they see it.
“Students who want to support their Jewish peers can speak up when their friends make antisemitic comments, even when Jewish students aren’t present,” Steinberger said. “They can acknowledge that antisemitism is real and impactful and not downplay it or excuse it.”