Jewish students at SUNY New Paltz share experience on campus as protests continue to unfold

At SUNY New Paltz, protests continued into Friday night. News 12 spoke with some Jewish students who said they don't feel comfortable being on campus.

Maia Noah

May 4, 2024, 1:29 AM

Updated 15 days ago

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Campus protests continue to unfold closer to home as the war between Israel and Hamas surpasses 200 days.
At SUNY New Paltz, protests continued into Friday night. News 12 spoke with some Jewish students who said they don't feel comfortable being on campus.
"I've been feeling very isolated here," Rachel Kahr said. "It was definitely not what I was expecting to experience on campus."
Kahr is a sophomore at SUNY New Paltz from Ardsley, NY. She is on the board of the Jewish Student Union and the Students Supporting Israel board.
Even though Kahr said she feels isolated on campus, she told News 12 that doesn't make her any less proud of her Jewish identity.
"Everyone knows who I am and my beliefs and I'm proud of who I am, but it's hard to know people are staring at me and wanting to make comments," she says.
Other Jewish students said they don't feel safe wearing their Star of David necklaces anymore. They say they've experienced harassment on campus.
"These people have a right to their free speech of course," Aracelis Ascher said. "The problem is when that speech becomes hate speech."
News 12 also asked if tensions on campus have caused any students to think about transferring.
"I'm not interested in transferring it's a lot of work, but I have considered going online for the rest of my college career," Ascher said. "I just don't feel comfortable in my classes right now, I feel like eyes are on me."
SUNY New Paltz released a statement Wednesday saying in part " The University will not tolerate any hatred, bigotry, racism, intolerance, antisemitism, Islamophobia or violence on our campus and will take necessary actions to ensure a safe and successful conclusion to our academic year."


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