UC DAVIS (CBS13) — Since 2010, police have investigated at least six separate hate crimes on the UC Davis campus, from swastikas spraypainted on a dorm room and fraternity to anti-gay graffiti spraypainted on a student center.
UC Davis has been on a list of the most liberal college campuses in America, but it’s now on a list linking it to higher incidents of anti-semitism on UC campuses.
Hiding her ethnic roots for fear of retaliation, Mandy Gavrielle says it hasn’t been an easy four years as a Jewish student at UC Davis.
“I don’t feel comfortable wearing a Jewish star anymore and depending on certain classes, if I am wearing a symbol of being Jewish I’ll hide it,” she said. “Anything from assumptions made about you to questions about your opinions on Israel, to being accused of being a Zionist.”
A study by the Amcha Initiative, a group focused on searching for anti-Semitism on college campuses, has UC Davis at No. 4 with the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents.
There has been vandalism, swastikas spraypainted at a Jewish fraternity, boycotts of Israel and meetings urging the university to stop doing business of Israel. One of those incidents led to students shouting Allahu Akbar at a group of Jewish students holding Israeli flags.
Many Muslim students say they feel targeted as well and point to the spread of Islamophobia, while other students unaffiliated with either side worry about the hostility in general.
Tammi Rossman’s Jewish watchdog group is behind the study claiming UC schools had three times the reported anti-Semitic incidents (6.8) as the national average (2.4). The study looked at more than 100 schools popular with Jewish students and relied on incidents reported in the media.
“What we’re asking universities is first and foremost to be able to acknowledge that it does harm Jewish students. Were asking for fair and equal treatment for Jewish students,” she said.
Gavrielle is graduating this year, but instead of a future advocating for Israel, she’s considering a less divisive career choice.
UC Davis responded with a statement saying in part, “We promote free expression within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity and respect.”