Apr 17, 2024 - News

UC San Diego earns a "D" in university antisemitism report

An aerial view of UC San Diego campus.

An aerial view of UC San Diego's campus in La Jolla. Photo: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego

UC San Diego and other elite colleges received poor grades from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for the state of antisemitism on campus.

Why it matters: Antisemitic incidents have surged across the U.S. since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

Zoom out: The war has become a flashpoint on college campuses across the country, contributing to a rise in both antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents.

The big picture: The ADL's new Campus Antisemitism Report Card graded 85 schools using 21 criteria that assessed actions and policies, Jewish life on campus and incidents on campus.

  • The report looked at the top national and liberal arts schools in the country, as well as colleges with the highest proportion of Jewish students, per the news release.

Zoom in: UCSD earned a "D" grade for its "deficient approach," the report states.

  • The report describes campus protests and several antisemitic incidents in the past year, including swastikas drawn on the walls of a dorm bathroom using feces.
  • It mentions the student government's call for divestment from Israel, along with its delayed vote on a resolution condemning antisemitism and apologizing for endorsing a letter labeling Israel as an "apartheid state."
  • The report also highlighted UCSD's Jewish student-life organizations, mandatory DEI training, and the school's policies for reporting antisemitism and discrimination.

In response to campus concerns, UCSD has issued statements and established the Tritons Belong initiative to support the community through events and resources.

What they're saying: "We are alarmed by the disturbing uptick in antisemitism nationwide and, locally, and by the pain it inflicts … we are committed to creating a living, learning and working environment where everyone feels safe, welcome and valued," Rachel Zaentz, a University of California spokesperson, told Axios.

  • UC "unequivocally condemns antisemitism in all its forms" and plans to work with the ADL, state and federal lawmakers, and other partners to improve the campus climate, she said.

What they're doing: The UC System, which oversees 10 public universities, is distributing $7 million for campuses to address these issues through emergency mental health and trauma support, professional development and educational programs.

State of play: Over the past several months, the federal Education Department has been investigating allegations of antisemitism and Islamophobia at colleges and school districts around the U.S.

UC San Diego students, faculty or other community members experiencing discrimination can report it to the campus Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination at [email protected] or ReportBias.ucsd.edu.


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