Jewish Student Concerns

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

1. Security Assessment for University Owned Buildings

  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 2020 semester
      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

2. Communication Between DPS and SU Community

  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

3. Religious Observance

  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.

4. Judaism as an Identity

  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.

5. Marginalized Identity Student Leadership Coalition

  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

6. Better communication

  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