Campus Hate Crimes Persist

The+Interfaith+Ministry+Board+in+the+Lowenstein+corridor+displays+the+Star+of+David+that+was+riped+in+half.+

ANDREW DRESSNER/THE OBSERVER

The Interfaith Ministry Board in the Lowenstein corridor displays the Star of David that was riped in half.

By KATRINA LAMBERT, Staff Writer

Public Safety sent an alert to the Fordham community on Wednesday, Nov. 20, that a Star of David was ripped and posted to the interfaith ministry bulletin board in a Lowenstein corridor on the Lincoln Center campus. 

Director of Campus Ministry Conor O’Kane notified Public Safety about the incident on Nov. 16. After Public Safety conducted an investigation into the incident and identified the student responsible, they sent out an alert via email.

The student found guilty is also responsible for two other anti-Semitic incidents that took place this semester, according to Public Safety. 

President of the Jewish Students Organization (JSO) Drew Bernstein, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, said that the previous two incidents also involved items on the interfaith ministry bulletin board being torn down. 

“Fordham Lincoln Center has always been a supportive place, but for something like this to happen, just puts it into question,” Bernstein said. After mentioning incidents at other campuses last year like the swastika drawn on a desk at Rose Hill, Bernstein said that “it was really, really nice to be able to say that this doesn’t happen on our campus, so this was disappointing.” 

In response to this act, Bernstein issued an email to the members of JSO stating that even though “this seems to be an isolated event, and we doubt the behavior will continue,” all JSO members should know that the “JSO e-board and club as a whole are here for you.” 

Regarding the way the incident has been dealt with on campus, Bernstein said she was pleasantly surprised with the speed at which Campus Ministry brought the vandalism to attention and with the timeliness with which Public Safety conducted their investigation. 

“It definitely makes it feel like there are people on our side,” Bernstein said. 

Campuses at other universities have experienced similar anti-Semitic incidents to Fordham this month. Since Nov. 7, Syracuse University “has endured the ugliest of hatred, based on race, national origin and religion,” according to Syracuse Chancellor Kent D. Syverud as reported by The Washington Post

The Post stated that more than a dozen incidents were published by the University’s newspaper, including racial and anti-Semitic slurs written in bathrooms and classrooms and a swastika drawn into the snow across from an apartment building. Students at Syracuse reacted to these threats by occupying a campus building in demand of a required “diversity training for faculty and staff” and a stronger anti-harassment policy, according to The Post.

Students and faculty at Syracuse were reportedly frustrated by their chancellor’s delayed response to the racial attacks. Syverud later met with a group of Jewish students and agreed to some of their recommendations for campus safety, like ensuring that all public safety cameras are working and improving communications about incidents on campus.

Following the events at Syracuse, four students, some from other universities were reportedly suspended.

The New York Police Department and the District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute against the Fordham student found responsible for the anti-Semitic incident at Lincoln Center. However, since the act violates Fordham’s Code of Conduct, the University is issuing the sanction they deem appropriate to the student held responsible.