Over the summer we saw an alarming surge in antisemitism and antisemitic hate crimes throughout the state of Florida and the country as a whole. UCF is proud to have one of the largest Jewish student populations in the country, and we are disheartened to hear about this increase in antisemitism. For the over 6,000 Jewish students who call UCF their home, this rise in antisemitism has been incredibly frightening: Jewish students feel alone and concerned.
In March the university communicated that hate, discrimination and violence in all of their forms have no place at UCF. This remains true today! The university will not tolerate any member of our community being on the receiving end of hate or discrimination.
To reiterate, hate, discrimination and violence in any form – including antisemitism – have no place at UCF. To learn more on how you can take action against antisemitism please find these available resources on the American Jewish Committee or the Anti-Defamation League websites.
There are also numerous resources on campus to help students express their feelings and find a smaller community within UCF. Hillel, Chabad, and Yehudi are three already established resources available to Jewish students at UCF. These student organizations provide invaluable opportunities for the Jewish community at UCF to collaborate and connect with other Jewish students.
We know that condemning antisemitism is not enough. Instead, we must challenge ourselves to address hate in more meaningful ways. As campus leaders we promise to work on fostering a more inclusive environment at UCF. This includes working with university administrators and our community partners to create new resources for our students.
Addressing the Recent Events in the Caribbean
This past week, many throughout our community witnessed, for the first time, the truth behind the injustices taking place on the island just 90 miles to the south. For decades, the Cuban community in Florida has waited for assistance in the country’s fight for the rights we hold so dear. We understand that this struggle is ongoing and for many of our Knights, this issue is personal. As a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), we recognize that many of our students came to this University as a result of their family’s search for a better life. We are proud to serve this community. We want you to know that UCF is here for you.
Additionally, we are heartbroken by the events that have taken place in Haiti over the last week. The death of President Moïse has shocked us all. For years, the nation of Haiti has struggled in the face of natural disasters and political unrest. We understand that such an act can have a deeply personal impact on our students, and we want you to know that you are not alone. To our Haitian Knights, know that your community supports you during this trying time and resources are available to you both in-person and online.
Addressing all UCF Knights
The UCF Creed reminds us that community is a crucial aspect of our university’s values, and our community is strongest when we stand united. This is why we stand together with our Jewish students, faculty, and staff to unequivocally denounce and condemn antisemitism in every shape and form. We also stand with our Latinx and Haitian Knights to denounce violence against protestors and insist on human rights. UCF is not just another institution. We are family. When one member of our family is impacted, we are all impacted. I know that our UCF community has the power to lift each other up and support one another during such trying times.
Resources are available both online and in-person for anyone seeking support. For those who wish to take action, writing to your representatives, reaching out to your friends affected by the conflicts, and educating yourself about their origins are all ways that you can support the causes from home. Remember, UCF is a place where we can celebrate our differences and come together in a time of need.
Please note, that if any of our campus community witness or experience incidents of discrimination or violence, please report them to UCF. If you or someone you know becomes subject to a hate crime, please report it to UCFPD immediately.