University of Minnesota Reports Religious Discrimination Behind Most On-Campus Bias Incidents in Past Year, With 9 Antisemitic Episodes in February Alone
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN) reported last month that religious discrimination was behind a plurality of on-campus “bias incidents” over the past year, with nine antisemitic incidents occurring in February alone.
The report, a first from the school’s Bias Response and Referral Network (BRRN), found a dramatic spike overall this February, with a total of 22 episodes occurring — 12 more than any other month. All of that month’s religion-fueled bias incidents were reportedly antisemitic in nature.
These included a Jewish student finding his dorm room broken into and a drawing of Jews being marched into gas chambers on his personal whiteboard.
At the time, the director of the campus Chabad center, Rabbi Yitzi Steiner, told The Algemeiner that “though such incidents used to be very rare, antisemitism on campus has been skyrocketing of late.”
After that incident, the BRRN had announced there had been seven discoveries of antisemitic graffiti on campus since December 2016.
Following the release of the report, the campus Hillel’s executive director, Benjie Kaplan, told campus paper MN Daily, “The biggest thing that students were feeling was disbelief that in today’s day and age, these things still happen.”
A “bias incident” was described as when one of the following “identities…were targeted”: religion, race, gender, sexuality, national origin and disability.
A total of 76 incidents on the Twin Cities campus were reported between February 2016 and February 2017, according to the BRRN.