PALO ALTO, Calif. - Stanford University says it’s received reports of at least three antisemitic incidents on campus over the last two weeks. Now, the university plans to create two new committees to combat antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus.
In March, KTVU reported an incident of a swastika symbol discovered in one of the dorms. And in the last two weeks, three more swastikas have been reported.
"I hate to say it but from my experience serving on one of the university’s task forces, I doubt that much is going to come of the committee," said Odelia Lorch.
Stanford University announced Monday that it’ll form two new committees to combat antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus. They’ll include students, faculty and staff members, but this Jewish student thinks the plan is divisive.
"They implied opposition when they said they want to work with the Muslim, Arab, Palestinian communities, which they’re lumped together. That makes it seem like all Muslims and Arabs are anti-Jewish, and all Palestinians must be anti-Jewish," Lorch said.
"I don’t have any animosity towards anybody on this campus and to sort of present it that way isn’t fair," said Isaac Deutsche, a Stanford student who is also Jewish.
The announcement came after weeks of campus protests in response to the attacks in Israel. Stanford also confirmed swastikas were found in a few locations on campus last week and strongly condemned the incidents.
"When the war broke out, the campus felt a lot more hostile to me. I feel watched in a lot of places. I feel disliked," Deutsche said.
The university says it hopes the committees will improve dialogue and education about antisemitism and Islamophobia. Stanford also says it’s expanded mental health resources and added more security measures on campus. Still, Lorch says in the past, the committee process hasn’t worked.
"I would like these conversations to be set up. I would like support systems to reach students. I would like statements to be made to make students feel seen and heard," Lorch said.
Stanford says the swastika incidents are being investigated by police.
KTVU also tried to speak with those students who support the Palestinian cause about the committees, but they declined to comment.