The US would like to think that our universities and colleges are unbiased and equal since the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s resulted in integration in our schools. That the country has far less racial problems than it did a minimum of 47 years ago, after all, the civil rights movement started about 64 years ago.
However, that is not the case at all. We have not come all that far in the past 50 to 60 years. In fact, the racial problems today are just as bad as the 1950s and 60s, with the exception that it is not just white and black.
It is my opinion that President Obama has done more to hurt racial relations than any other president in history. This could make things even worse for Jewish students who come to the US to attend university.
What Jewish students face in US universities and college campuses
When it comes to Jewish students in the US universities and college campuses they will face several difficulties.
Students were given a survey and over half of Jewish students felt that they were being harassed, intimidated, and were worried that it could turn violent toward them.
In a letter to President Yudof written by a professor and two lecturers; they stated that:
[“Many Jewish students, responding to an on-line questionnaire, described feeling harassed
and intimidated at UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Berkeley. More than two-thirds felt
that anti-Israel events and campaigns promoted hatred of the Jewish State and of Jews,
and even expressed the concern that such hatred might lead to violence against Jewish
students on their campus. Almost all the students felt that their administrators do not
treat Jewish concerns as sensitively as they treat those of other minorities “].
To read the rest of the letter click here.
Some of the complaints include swastikas and other anti-Semitism slogans and designs being used.
As you can see it seems that there is still a divide when it comes to race and religion.
Difficulties that all foreign students may face in US universities and colleges
Jewish students as well as any other foreign students going to US universities and colleges the first year may face are:
1. Being homesick.
2. Feeling disconnected.
3. Under pressure to improve habits such as controlling time, prioritizing and remaining healthy.
4. Adapting to academic opportunities that could be more perplexing than expected.
5. Managing a level of social and cultural diversity that may be different from the communities with which they are most familiar.
6. Having difficulty managing relationships, both at home and at school.
7. Culture shock, the culture of the US is far different than the culture of their home.
8. Language, again the English language is not the foreign student’s first language so it can be difficult to understand assignments or even students in their classes and dorms. When it comes to assignments many of the foreign students will consider and even use paper writing services. It can also be difficult to live in a dorm room with another person who isn’t Jewish.
How can this be changed?
Is there a way that it can be changed?
With the age of technology bringing the world closer together you would think that people would have a better understanding of the differences but that does not seem to be the case.
Should universities and colleges require all students to take a first-year class in learning the basics of other cultures and religious diversities? It might give all students both from the US and foreign students a better understanding of the cultural and religious differences between them. Maybe it could give them a more common ground to stand on.
Should punishment by the universities and colleges for harassment be harsher; especially that which involves symbols of hatred?
The answer is not easy and it is certainly an issue that needs to be studied in order to come up with an answer that will change the atmosphere of our universities and colleges. I say this as young people go to be educated but how can they get the most out of their tuition fees if they feel that violence could erupt against them at any moment.
Change does not happen overnight as seen by the civil rights movement in the US but it does happen. It just needs a few good people who are willing to ask and work for change. It will not be easy and it will take people from all walks of life in order to bring about that change.
The Jewish students do indeed have a great deal of problems with anti-Semantic issues at US universities and college campuses.
The answer to the issue is unclear at this time but what is clear to me is that it will take several people from all walks of life to stand up and ask for the change in policies dealing with harassment and use of hate symbols in our educational institutions.