Supporting our Jewish Community Amid Act of Antisemitism

By News, February 4, 2022

I am outraged and disheartened to share that a swastika was found last night on a window of the Baker Walkway, which connects the Whalen Center and the Terraces parking lot. In no uncertain terms, I condemn the use and display of this racist symbol. It has no place at Ithaca College—or anywhere. 

The vision of this institution is to build thriving communities, rooted in the values of equity, accountability, and respect, among others. We cannot achieve this goal in an environment that tolerates antisemitic, racist, or other threatening symbols, words, behaviors, or ideologies. We cannot achieve this goal in an environment that terrorizes members of this community. Acts like the one discovered last night are, quite simply and quite obviously, unacceptable.

I ask that we reach out to one another at this time to offer support and care, particularly to our Jewish friends, colleagues, and loved ones. Incidents like this don’t just damage our community, they cause pain and fear. 

For students within our Jewish community, Hillel will be hosting a virtual space this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. to provide comfort and solidarity. Please visit this site to access the meeting.

Regarding the symbol found last night, an incident report has been filed with our Office of Public Safety and they have launched an investigation of this incident. Additionally, a bias impact report has been filed. Our bias impact resource team, which includes individuals from OPS, the Title IX office, LGBTQ education and outreach, faculty, and religious and spiritual services as well as our dean of students, will reach out to provide resources, support and options to the reporting party. I encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses a bias incident on campus, via social media, virtually, or at a college-affiliated event, to fill out this form

We ask anyone who might have information about this incident, in particular, to contact OPS at 607-274-3333, or leave an anonymous voicemail message at 607-274-1060.

Ithaca College, as an institution, is committed to proactively seeking out best practices to support our Jewish community. Most recently, we are proud that we have been selected for Hillel International’s Campus Climate Initiative cohort for the 2021-22 academic year, an effort that gives us tools for best practices in creating a positive and inclusive campus community. As part of this initiative, we have completed a review of our campus climate and are now identifying action steps to further support the members of our Jewish community in expressing their identity and values. 

This effort joins many others at different levels of the college to ensure the authentic expression of every member of our community—a goal to which all of us must be committed.

In solidarity,

La Jerne Terry Cornish
Interim President