Colleges and universities are places where students are often exposed to a diverse student body and a broad set of complex issues. College students often face a new set of challenges, and it is critical that institutions take steps to ensure that all students, regardless of background, feel safe on their campuses and in their classrooms.
Hate has no place on our nation’s college campuses. Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination are harmful to students’ well-being and undermine the ability for all students to have access to a successful postsecondary experience.
Being intentional in response to current events is critical. For example, in October 2023, following the terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7 and the subsequent war between Israel and Hamas, institutions of higher education, and communities generally, reported rising cases of antisemitism and Islamophobia. It is crucial that colleges and universities address these issues in a way that fosters an academic environment that is safe and where cultural diversity is respected by all.
The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) has compiled a list of resources to support higher education professionals – from administrators to faculty – in their efforts to cultivate campuses that are safe, tolerant, and supportive of students’ physical and mental well-being, prevent discrimination, and confront and counteract antisemitism and Islamophobia. These resources are designed to help support institutions of higher education so they can remain beacons of learning and growth, where all students can engage fully, with the confidence that their religious identities will be respected and protected.