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Jewish Student Concerns

Below, find the concerns and recommendations presented by Jewish students and signed by Chancellor Kent Syverud on Nov. 21, 2019.

  1. DPS Monitored Cameras
    1. Ensure that all University cameras are in working order with clear imaging and effective field of view
      1. Servicing to be done before students return for Spring Semester 2020
      2. Following the assessment a message will be sent to relevant and responsible parties
  2. Spaces
    1. Work with individual groups to understand their unique security concerns
      1. In the case of Hillel, staff have recognized the need to work with the Department of Homeland Security to make updates that will require assistance and assessment from university departments (Physical Plant, CPDC)
        1. Example: Getting a video-intercom system for the front door

Lead Responsible Party
Tony Callisto, Senior Vice President, Campus Safety, and Chief Law Enforcement Officer

Status In Progress

Progress

April 2020

No Change

March 2020

  • A total of 75 recommendations from Marsh Risk Consulting have been completed. Following the meeting with Campus, Planning, Design and Construction, 12 areas of recommendations from the 2018 assessment were identified that warrant development of a standard or policy as well as those that require further study. It is anticipated the drafting of the standards and policies will be complete by July 1.

  • A meeting was held on March 5 with Campus Planning, Design and Construction to identify security upgrades that are a priority. An assessment will be underway to identify costs associated with projects.

February 2020

  • Camera installation in Flint Hall is planned to start on March and end March 22. The Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience will seek student feedback in terms of what locations the cameras are covering.
  • Phase 1 camera additions for all other residences, including installing cameras in first floor lounges/public areas and elevators, are scheduled to start May 11. Planning meetings currently taking place
  • Phase 2 additions, including installing cameras in stairwells of all residence halls, are in the planning stages. Planning meetings are currently taking place.
  • A total of 71 recommendations from Marsh Risk Consulting have been completed. Following the meeting with Campus Planning, Design and Construction, 12 areas of recommendations from the 2018 assessment were identified that warrant development of a standard or policy, as well as those that require further study. It is anticipated the drafting of the standards and policies will be complete within six months.
  • Improved access control and monitoring of front entrance has been implemented.
  • The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is working with CPDC to coordinate/scope building security upgrades.
  • On Feb. 7, DPS met with the executive director of Hillel, Jillian Juni, to begin reviewing the security assessment from Peter Owen (approximately 50 percent complete). Another meeting to assign priority/feasibility identified goals and obtain quotes for the work to be done is being scheduled. The primary building enhancements/modifications have been identified. A meeting with CPDC and other departments is being planned to obtain estimates for security improvements listed above.

January 2020

  • Cameras were installed in Day Hall as a pilot and were fully operational on Dec. 1. 
  • Campus Safety and Emergency Services (CSES) staff has evaluated the current installation and has developed a phased approach and budget estimate for installations in additional residence halls. 
  • A CSES employee is dedicated to daily review of camera functionality status. Reports of any camera malfunctions will be addressed immediately by CSES and Facilities Services. 
  • Marsh Risk Consulting conducted a comprehensive security review of campus facilities: 64 of 211 Marsh Risk Consulting campuswide safety recommendations have been completed to date and are continuing. Risk management is meeting with Campus Planning, Design and Construction this month to coordinate next phases of campuswide safety improvements.
  • All security reviews of resident halls, dining halls and laundry facilities were completed on Nov. 28.  
  • Peter Owen, of the U.S Department of Homeland Security, along with Commander James McLellan, completed a security assessment of Hillel on Oct. 7. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is scheduling a review of the assessment with Hillel leadership.
  1. Two open forums per semester for students to express safety concerns to the community
  2. Student advisory committee to DPS made up of representatives from various student groups on campus
    1. Committee is to be advertised to all SROs on campus. It is asked that organizations send delegates to the committee to ensure maximum representation of the student body

Lead Responsible Party
Tony Callisto, Senior Vice President, Campus Safety, and Chief Law Enforcement Officer

Status Substantially Complete

Progress

April 2020

No Change

March 2020

No Change

February 2020

  • DPS has a Student Advisory Committee, as well as a Students of Color Advisory Committee. Chief Bobby Maldonado’s team has advertised and communicated with SROs for participation.

January 2020

  • DPS is developing the spring 2020 campus community forum format, dates and locations. 
  • DPS has a Student Advisory Committee, as well as a Students of Color Advisory Committee. Chief Bobby Maldonado’s team will advertise for SRO membership in the spring semester. 
  1. Re-evaluate the message given to faculty and staff at the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester
  2. Students should not be pressured to choose between observing sacred holidays and going to class or participating in group projects
    1. This is of particular interest to the Jewish community since our major holidays fall during the semester (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah, Passover)
  3. Provide a more user friendly interface for students to identify their religious observances by the beginning of Fall 2020
    1. The current system of requesting religious exemption is hard to navigate and understand unless someone who has previously requested an absence assists
  4. Reconsider the time frame within which students must submit their religious observance absence form
    1. The current system requires that students submit their religious absences within the first two weeks of the semester.

Lead Responsible Party
Chris Johnson, Associate Provost

Status Substantially Complete

Progress

April 2020

No Change

March 2020

No Change

February 2020

  • The Office of the Registrar and Office of the Chief Information Officer met to start scoping out the technical issues with this concern. The work will focus on updating MySlice.
  • A discussion with 20 participants in the curriculum interest group was held on Feb. 21. Consensus was reached on guidelines for a reporting time frame. Valuable feedback was obtained on key issues of user interface.

January 2020

  • The “Syllabus Letter” that was sent to faculty prior to the spring 2020 semester was revised to more forcefully encourage faculty not to schedule exams or group presentations on sacred holidays. Language from the concern was directly used in the letter, and a link to the list of holidays curated by Hendricks Chapel was included.  
  • The Office of the Registrar and Office of the Chief Information Officer have met to start scoping out the technical issues with students’ concern to better request a religious exemption.
  1. For many Jews, we identify as Jewish independent of our faith or religious practice. Curriculum for SEM 100 needs to be updated to understand that Judaism, for many, is both a cultural identity, ethnic identity, and religion
  2. Training for faculty and staff to recognize Jewish identity in the curriculum and implement such recognition, as well as when interacting with students with this identity
  3. Implement anti-Semitism training that has been developed, reviewed, and deemed ready
    1. To include awareness of micro-aggression
    2. To work towards including this training in University spaces, such as Fraternities and Sororities, when other diversity trainings are being offered.

Lead Responsible Party
Chris Johnson, Associate Provost

Status In Progress

Progress

May 2020

  • Anti-Semitism customizations were incorporated into the EVERFI DEI module as part of the launch on May 18 to incoming students. Five percent of students have completed the DEI module in May (178 out of 3,727). Students will continue to complete the module as they are enrolled and leading up to the July 1 deadline. The work continues to offer this training in other University spaces.

February 2020

  • A working group has been assembled to draft and review anti-Semitic training through Everfi. The group includes Rob Hradsky, vice president for the student experience; Jorge Castillo, interim director, LGBT Resource Center; James Duah-Agyeman, eirector, Office of Multicultural Affairs; Elizabeth Taets Von Amerongen, director, Disability Cultural Center; Deka Dancil, manager, Bias Response and Education; Jillian Juni, executive director, Syracuse Hillel; Katelyn Cowan, director, Health Promotion; and Rachel Evans, assistant director, Health Promotion.
  • Discussions continue with Everfi to develop the format of the online module.

January 2020

  • Judaism as an identity is being addressed through the “Identity Wheel” exercise included in the SEM 100 curriculum.
  • The recommendation to include training for faculty and staff to recognize Jewish identity in the curriculum and implement such recognition, as well as when interacting with students with this identity, has been referred to Cathryn Newton for incorporation into faculty training programs.  
  • Leaders from ESE met with Hillel leadership during December and January.   
  • The updated curriculum covering anti-Semitism will launch this fall using the Everfi platform for delivery to students. 
  1. University sponsored student coalition of marginalized-identities supported by willing faculty and staff
    1. Coalition will meet in two different capacities each month
      1. In one meeting the coalition will congregate to discuss campus climate and address individual groups' concerns
      2. The Chancellor, Dean of Hendricks Chapel, and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer will be present at the second meeting of each month to listen to and appropriately respond to student concerns
        1. The Chancellor, Dean of Hendricks Chapel, and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer will refer various departments to student coalition to enact further change

Lead Responsible Party
Keith A. Alford, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Status In Progress

Progress

June 2020

  • Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Keith A. Alford, Hendricks Chapel Dean Brian Konkol and Vice President for the Student Experience Robert Hradsky have a draft charge, structure and process for students to review of the Marginalized Identity Student Leadership Coalition in the fall. The commitment will now be charged to the chief diversity officer, who will be accountable for implementation.

February 2020

  • In March, a working group, consisting of Rob Hradsky, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Keith Alford and Hendricks Chapel Dean Brian Konkol, is planning a meeting with student leaders to reach consensus on the structure of the coalition.

January 2020

  • The vice president for the student experience is working with Hillel staff on a draft structure for the Marginalized Identity Student Leadership Coalition.  
  • Student engagement will be conducted during the spring semester. The coalition will launch in fall 2020. 
  1. Monthly reports
    1. Bias on Campus
      1. Report published by DPS and/or Anti-Bias that is accessible to the university community
        1. In a month when there are no founded bias based incidents, notification would be sent to the campus community.
        2. The person reporting can decide if their report is available publicly
      2. Bias related incident reports to be sent directly to the Chancellor and other appropriate directors, VPs, department heads that includes all DPS and/or Anti-Bias reports
    2. Progress report on updates on progress of demands put forth by students during the fall 2019 semester
  2. When incidents arise
    1. More timely updates and notifications
      1. To students
      2. To parents/family
      3. To faculty/staff
  3. Speak to student worries, concerns
    1. Example: Just because there isn't a legally recognized presence of a threat doesn't mean that students feel safe

Lead Responsible Party
Tony Callisto, Senior Vice President, Campus Safety, and Chief Law Enforcement Officer

Status Substantially Complete

Progress

April 2020

No Change

March 2020

No Change

February 2020

  • DPS has posted bias incidents to the “Bias Incident Reports” page on its website within 48 hours, unless posting would compromise an investigation into the incident.
  • DPS has a Student Advisory Committee, as well as a Students of Color Advisory Committee. Chief Bobby Maldonado’s team has advertised and communicated with SROs for participation.

January 2020

  • DPS has established a Bias Incident Reports page on its website. Bias incidents are posted within 48 hours, unless posting would compromise an investigation into the incident.  
  • DPS is developing the Spring 2020 forum format, dates and locations. 
  • DPS has a Student Advisory Committee, as well as a Students of Color Advisory Committee. Chief Maldonado’s team will advertise for SRO membership in the spring semester.