Two weeks after anti-Semitic posters appeared on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, the Undergraduate Student Government rallied around Jewish students to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and calling for additional measures from university administrators. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, USG-Tempe passed Senate Resolution 5 by a vote of 15-1-3.
“The Undergraduate Student Government of Tempe unreservedly condemns all acts of racism, bigotry, and violence against the Jewish community, both on and off the Tempe campus,” the resolution read. “The Undergraduate Student Government of Tempe stands by the Jewish community and condemns all acts of racial, ethnic or religious discrimination against members of the student body.”
SR-05 also called on ASU President Michael Crow to release a public statement condemning the recent anti-Semitic incidents on campus, on ASU to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and on the Office of Educational Outreach and Student Services to establish a Jewish Cultural Coalition.
The statement was proposed by Nathaniel Anbar, a USG senator from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering as well as the civic engagement intern at Hillel at ASU.
“This was a student-driven initiative,” said Debbie Yunker-Kail, Hillel at ASU’s executive director, in a statement to community partners. Anbar “worked with all of the Jewish and pro-Israel organizations as well as non-Jewish senators to make last night happen.”
Seven Jewish organizations on campus co-signed the resolution, including Chabad at ASU, the Hillel at ASU Student Leadership Board, Jewish Arizonans on Campus, Students Supporting Israel at ASU, Sun Devil Public Affairs Committee, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity and Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority. The co-signers released a statement Tuesday night thanking students who spoke in favor of the resolution.
“Tonight, many Jewish students spoke beautifully about their pride in their Jewish identity and how recent anti-Semitic incidents have made them feel unsafe,” the statement said. “We saw true collaboration between many student groups, all seeking formal Jewish student representation at ASU. The passing of this resolution recommends taking significant steps towards that goal. This is a welcome signal that Jewish students are heard and recognized by their peers and that our experiences with anti-Semitism on campus are going to be taken seriously and dealt with.”
In a statement by Students Supporting Israel, ASU student Koral Zaarur said the measure began as a response to recent posters of Adolf Hitler and swastikas found on campus, though it “turned into so much more.”
“The bill called for the creation of a Jewish Coalition on our campus, to be the face of Jewish students and organizations and provide a clear and unified voice for our community,” she told JNS.org. “Calling on the university to adopt the IHRA definition was perhaps our biggest victory, as we secured a concrete definition for what anti-Semitism is, and what forms of anti-Zionism and anti-Israel propaganda are anti-Semitic.” JN