We don’t believe that every college campus is welcoming towards Jewish students and that, of course, we believe is unacceptable in 2015. It would have been unacceptable to us fifty years ago, too. But we didn’t have a college admissions blog fifty years ago. Nobody had any sort of blog. We’ve written before about universities that are despicably unwelcoming towards Jewish students. Hello, the University of California, Irvine. While we don’t write much about UC, Irvine on the pages of our college admissions blog because, frankly, UCI isn’t a highly selective college and is thus undeserving of our attention, we will call them out for doing very little to address the hotbed of anti-Semitism that is the UCI campus. It is despicable. We would love to see the university removed from the UC system entirely. But that likely won’t happen anytime soon.
But nobody reads our college admissions blog to read about the University of California, Irvine. Let’s get real. You’re here to read what we have to say about Stanford as it relates to students of the Jewish faith. Well, there is an article in “The New York Times” that focuses on a Stanford student who was running for student council…only to encounter what she believes to be anti-Semitism. According to the piece on Stanford in “The New York Times” by Jennifer Medina, “The debate over what constitutes anti-Semitism has spilled into Stanford University’s student government election, with a Jewish student claiming that she was asked how her Judaism affects her view of divestment from Israel, morphing what was a contest about campus issues into a fierce discussion on identity and loyalties. Like other candidates, Molly Horwitz, a junior from Milwaukee, was eager to receive an endorsement from the Students of Color Coalition, an umbrella group that has helped dozens win seats in the student senate. Ms. Horwitz, who was adopted from Paraguay, wrote extensively in her application about navigating both Jewish and Latino circles. Like many other students, she had paid close attention to the campus debate over divestment earlier this year.”
We have no idea why issues such as divestment from Israel comes up in a student council debate. We would think the student council would be focused on candy machines, student activities, and matters related directly to Stanford. It is beyond us how the issue of Israel would even come up in such a debate, even though we did read that the student council addressed issues related to Israel the previous year. Do we think this is anti-Semitism? We’re not sure. We’d like to think not. But we’re not sure. The fact is that it’s inappropriate to ask an African American student a question such as, “As an African American, where do you stand on the issue of reparations from slavery times?” As such, it should be inappropriate to ask a Jewish student a question like the one she allegedly was asked at Stanford. Anti-Semitism has no place at Stanford and it has no place at any other university around the world.