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Local college students react to rise in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic language

MONTERY COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)- The Israel-Hamas war continues to cause ripples nationwide. Across the country, college campuses are seeing anti-Semitic Islamophobic language.

It's been almost a month since the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out. Tensions on both sides are rising across the country.

Just this week, authorities arrested 21-year-old Patrick Dai for violent threats against Jewish students at Cornell University. Gabriel Garzaniti, a freshman of Jewish descent, said he's seen the negative rhetoric on social media. Which does make him feel worried.

“It's scary to see it happening,” said Garzaniti. “Here on CSUMB, where a pretty inclusive and accepting campus.”

For October, the Anti-Defamation League reports a total of 312 anti-Semitic incidents. The Council for American-Islamic Relations cited more than 700 complaints. But said the numbers could be higher.

On the Central Coast, some students held a silent protest. Calling for an immediate cease-fire and end to violence in Gaza.

“Because of what we're seeing around the country and other college campuses, out of an abundance of caution, we wanted this to be a silent protest, not aggressive, no confrontational,” said Dr. Sara Salazar Hughes, an Associate Professor with the Department of Social Sciences and Global Studies.

Salazar Hughes said college campuses should be a place for free speech and debate. Especially around difficult topics.

In a statement, CSUMB said “We are responsible for advocating for peaceful resolutions to conflict and adding to the understanding of individual experiences and perspectives that will foster compassion and empathy for others. Even in the face of such violence and hatred, we must look to our shared human experience.”

KION also reached out to UC Santa Cruz. The university shared this statement "As a community, we share a collective responsibility to be sensitive to the environment we create for others when we engage in that debate, particularly on difficult and painful topics. At a minimum, we should give attention and care to the possible impacts of the ways we engage in debate on those with whom we disagree."

The university also adds it is working closely with students to make sure those who are affected have the support they need. 

CSUMB has links for students who want community support that you can find here.

As well as for counseling services, employee assistance programs and you can report concerning/discriminating behavior.

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Ana Torrea

Weekend Anchor/Reporter for KION News Channel 5/46


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