The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has created an advisory council to combat anti-Semitism on campus, the school’s chancellor announced in an email to students and staff on March 12.

UIUC Chancellor Robert Jones said the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Jewish and Campus Life aims “to improve and sustain” the school’s “commitment to an inclusive community where anti-Semitism and all other forms of hate will not be tolerated, and each one of us can live and thrive in our full humanity.”

According to Jones, the council’s primary responsibilities include providing recommendations for how UIUC can improve and maintain an inclusive environment for all Jewish students, faculty and staff; assessing institutional resources and the current campus climate for members of the Jewish community “to better understand the current state of individual experiences and institutional support”; and providing direction “on the development of focused and regularly recurring educational and co‑curricular programming, regarding Jewish student inclusion and anti-Semitism.”

The advisory council will be co-chaired by Erez Cohen, executive director of Hillel at UIUC, and Richard Herman, UIUC’s former chancellor.

“This is a step forward, a good step forward, in solving the problem of dealing with anti-Semitism on campus,” said Cohen, according to the student-run newspaper The Daily Illini. “We’ve seen that Jewish students, Jewish faculty and Jewish staff members were not consulted in these situations, and the response was much more general. So, having more involvement in helping solve our community’s problem is really critical.”

The council will meet at least four times during the semester. It aims to present a report to Jones with plans and recommendations on May 31.

JNS

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