Racism and Antisemitism at Syracuse University


The Outside of the Hall of Languages at Syracuse University. Photo Credit: wikimedia.org https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hall-of-Languages-Syracuse-Univ-2014.jpg

Dina Shlufman, Staff Writer

Many American universities have been experiencing acts of racism and antisemitism on their campuses. From state schools like Wisconsin and Florida to Ivy Leagues like Columbia and Cornell, the number of hateful acts continues to increase. However, no university has endured such a severe period of seemingly incessant hate as Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York experienced last month.

White supremacy has plagued the school. Racist slurs and slogans have been spread across campus. Some of these despicable acts include “Little China Town” being written in a dorm, name tags ripped off of the doors of black students, and a swastika being drawn in the snow. Other incidents included members of one of the school’s fraternities shouting an extremely offensive racist slur at a black woman, as well as an Islamaphobic manifesto written by the Christchurch mosque shooter being published to one of the university’s websites.

When these events were reported, students claimed that the administrators instructed them to keep them quiet. The University as a whole did not act for several days, and the administration apologized for not acting sooner.

Professor Genevieve García de Müeller, a Jewish professor at the university, received a threatening email in which an anonymous student told her to “get in the oven where you belong, you monstrous looking kike.” Texts among parents, teachers, and students show the fear that was “palpable”, according to student Aarti Patel. Many people tried to convince her to not attend her classes in the midst of the uproar.

Due to these events, classes have been cancelled and all fraternity activity has been suspended through the end of the semester. 

Meanwhile, students have mobilized in protest, using the hashtag #NotAgainSU during a sit-in. Black, Latinx, Asian, Jewish, Muslim, and students of other groups have gathered together to protest. 

Four students have been suspended, with one arrested following the events. Fraternity Alpha Chi Rho has also been banned from campus. By the end of Thanksgiving break, the school is determined to implement new measures to keep the university safe and free from this type of behavior, such as increasing the number of security cameras around campus, as well as the hours of the public safety officers. There will also be more opportunities for counseling upon students’ return to ensure that their safety and well-being are handled properly.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s response to these events.