Statement the DSA Jewish Student Life Task Force

As part of its multifaceted initiative to improve the campus climate for FSU’s estimated 4,000 Jewish students, the Division of Student Affairs created a task force “to review Jewish life on campus and develop recommendations” for VP Hecht and President Thrasher. The Task Force on Jewish Student Life makes the following initial recommendations which it will work with the administration to implement over the coming academic year, in anticipation of a final report to be issued by June 30, 2021.

  1. Support programs that help the entire university community to understand the wide variety of Jewish experiences and identities as well as the history of hatred of Jews and how it has been experienced by Jews in the past and even today at FSU “[as] a minority group…[that has] faced bias and discrimination and [has] been marginalized for centuries.”
  2. As part of this programming, host regular sessions, in which Jewish students will be able to share with the university community the diverse ways they express their Jewish identity – whether through religion, culture, connection to Israel, or other means – and to discuss the full range of their experiences of being Jewish at FSU, including experiences of marginalization and discrimination.
  3.   Help the FSU Jewish community be a full and active part of campus by standardizing, publicizing, and enforcing the religious observance policy to ensure that all units of the University avoid scheduling key campus events on major Jewish holidays. This includes, but is not limited to, exams, major events around athletics (i.e., Family Weekend), and other campus activities.
  4. Train students, faculty, and staff on how to identify and report antisemitism to the Bias and Discrimination Response Team (BDRT), and ensure that the BDRT works with leaders of the Jewish campus community to support those who experience antisemitic incidents.
  5. Facilitate dialogue between Jewish students and identity based organizations including but not limited to the Black Student Union, Hispanic / Latinx Student Union, Pride Student Union, Asian American Student Union, Women’s Student Union, the Veterans Student Union, the Muslim Student Association, and the Arab Student Union in order to build mutual understanding, trust, and civility.
  6. Work with the FSU Jewish community to ensure that questions related to Jewish student experiences are included in any campus climate surveys. Share the results of the survey with the FSU Jewish community.

Signed by:
Jonathan J. Levin, Student Body President
Christian Hall, Student Body Treasurer
Emily Poisson, Hillel at FSU President
Jared M. Ross, Alumni, Class of 99 (B.S.) and 06 (J.D.)
David J. Cooper, Brim Eminent Scholar Professor of Economics
Lioz Grunberger, Nolepac, Noles for Israel
Dan Leshem, Hillel at FSU Executive Director
Keren Bard, President of The Jewish Student Union at FSU
Cindy Chamides, Noles for Israel
Hillary Holland, Class of 04 (B.S.) and Chabad of Tallahassee
Shayna Cohen, Graduate Student, Department of Economics