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March 15, 2015 9:29 pm

John Jay Hillel Questions ‘Arguably Inadequate Response’ to Swastikas Found on Campus

avatar by Chris Coffey

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A Jewish student group challenged the response of campus officials after swastikas were discovered over the past weeks at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, The Algemeiner has learned.

The first swastika was found in a men’s room on Monday, March 2, 2015. A second swastika was discovered one week later. The offensive graffiti was first reported late last week by CBS New York.

According to a March 10th email obtained by The Algemeiner, John Jay’s branch of Hillel questioned the initial response of campus administration to the incidents. John Jay Hillel also called for increased uniformed and plainclothes security patrols near the group’s offices.

In the email, John Jay Hillel specifically questioned what it called an “arguably inadequate response” to the incident. It argued that the campus security handled the first incident internally, and never notified campus administration or faculty. Though the administration did report the second incident to the entire school community, Hillel said that the administration did not “specifically mention that the graffiti was a swastika.”

According to CBS, John Jay President Jeremy Travis “sent a letter to the campus community saying such behavior has no place at John Jay. He wrote that school vice president Lynette Cook-Francis met with some of representatives of the groups that were targeted, and planned to meet with more.”

Travis also said that school officials have met with the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit.

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  • PJ

    The important words here are “arguably” and “initial.” The “initial” response was “arguably” inadequate (opinions differed, sure). Why doesn’t this article address how the Hillel Club was satisfied with the second response and subsequent follow-up efforts, the result of which we hope to see in the next month?

    Frankly speaking, the school is moving forward in a positive direction. The school met with us twice last week. They’ve been following up with us. This is yet another unfortunate anti-Semitic incident on a college campus. However, we are moving forward in a positive direction.

    This moment deserved press attention, but it also deserved the discussion of next steps.

  • Lauren Goldman

    Getting a college/university to actually act on anti-Semitic incidents is like pushing sand uphill. They will do anything to not have to admit that these are examples of Jew-hatred. As with law enforcement and the media, generally, great effort is expended to call these attacks anything but anti-Semitism. Phrases such as, “It was probably just a youthful prank,” or “Someone with anger issues,” or “Just imitating something they had seen,” are fairly commonly used to divert attention from what is actually taking place. I have yet to hear of anyone being apprehended, much less prosecuted for any of the many anti-Semitic acts on campuses.