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March 8, 2022 5:34 pm
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‘Antisemitism is Wrong,’ Says University of Wisconsin After Three Recent Reports

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Bascom Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Photo Credit: Richard Hurd / Flickr

Acknowledging a series of incidents reported by Jewish students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, school administrators denounced antisemitism on Tuesday, pledging to strengthen efforts to combat bias.

“Antisemitism is wrong and it will not be tolerated at UW-Madison,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor and Chief Diversity Officer LaVar Charleston said in a statement. “We are working to support all community members and increasing our educational efforts to prevent bias incidents from happening in the future.”

They revealed that recently, a swastika was carved into a residence hall bathroom stall, antisemitic slurs were yelled at a student, and a community member reported being harassed for “looking Jewish.”

Reesor and Charleston said the university is “committed to creating a campus where everyone feels valued and knows they belong” and listed university offices assigned to respond to antisemitic hate crimes and incidents.

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“Our first priority is to respond to those who are most directly affected,” they continued. “The Dean of Students follows up on all reports involving students. The university may also engage in outreach efforts more broadly on a case by case basis.”

This academic year also saw the campus’ Hillel building chalked on the first day of Hanukkah with a Palestinian flag and messages including, “Happy Hanukkah & happy day of int’l solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

The December 2021 episode drew an outcry from Jewish students, with the school’s Jewish center declaring, “to attempt to hold our diverse Jewish community responsible for the actions of the Israeli government is a modern manifestation of antisemitism.”

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