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New ADL Guide Helps Campus Safety Teams Spot, Report Antisemitism and Hate Crimes

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Illustrative photo of a university classroom. Photo: Public domain.

Amid a recent rise in antisemitic incidents on college campuses across the United States, a joint guide from a leading US Jewish organization and two college campus safety groups gives universities new advice in the fight against hate crimes.

The guide — “Combating Hate Crimes on College and University Campuses” — was released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in partnership with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and the Clery Center, a nonprofit promoting campus safety. It outlines identifying markers of hate crimes, their effects on victims, and how campus officials can prevent and respond to them.

“A bias incident – whether or not it is determined to be a hate crime – deeply impacts a community,” the guide said, emphasizing the importance of informing campuses when incidents are being investigated as potential hate crimes, and of doing so with “compassion.”

“Include in your messaging a statement denouncing hate crimes and bias incidents, as well as details about efforts your campus takes to educate all campus community members about bias-related incidents or hate crimes, and the importance of working together to prevent them from occurring,” it said.

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The guide gave a series of indicators to help officials identify hate crimes: the use of certain signs and symbols; the timing of an incident around dates such as Hitler’s birthday; and perpetrators that bear clothing patches or tattoos indicating membership in organized hate groups.

“We seek to help campuses improve communication about hate incidents, improve the rates of community members reporting incidents, and to improve communication in the wake of an incident so that campus community members feel supported,” the ADL’s National Director of College & University Programs, Elissa Buxbaum, told The Algemeiner. “Campuses will ultimately work together to create a culture where hate is a data point, but inclusion is what counts.

Th ADL guide also noted the rapid pace that information about possible hate crimes can spread on and off campus, especially online and through social media. Campuses administrators should look for ways to “streamline their own communication” to keep pace.

The guide strongly encouraged quickly reporting any potential hate crimes or incidents to local authorities, as well as in certain cases to the FBI and the ADL itself.

“Acknowledging hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents is critical to creating a more open conversation locally and nationally about building more caring and resilient communities where everyone knows they belong,” it said.

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