NY Bill Would Require Colleges to Publicly Post Hate Crime Complaints

By Reuvain Borchardt

Queens College in New York City has been the subject of allegations of antisemitism. (Google Maps)

NEW YORK — Colleges in New York may soon have to report on their websites all hate crimes that occur on their campuses, under legislation that passed the Assembly on Wednesday.

“We have seen lots of incidents of universities – particularity public universities that receive significant funding from the state – not taking the problem of antisemitism seriously on their campuses,” Queens Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal, the bill’s sponsor, told Hamodia. “This bill will allow the public to realize if any individual institution has a particular problem — and whether its administration is taking proper steps to address it.”

The organization AMCHA Initiative, which documents and combats antisemitism on college campuses, documented 254 “attacks on Jewish identity” (which includes Zionism) at 63 schools across the country in the 2021-2022 academic year, and reported that bullying and intimidation of Jewish students tripled.

In New York City, Jewish students have alleged rampant anti-Jewish and anti-Israel bias from both students and faculty on CUNY campuses, and the City Council’s Committee on Higher Education held a seven-hour hearing on the issue last summer.

Queens Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal, sponsor of the Hate Crime Reporting on College Campuses Bill.

Rosenthal said he decided to author this bill after a meeting with Jewish CUNY students last summer. “Some of their stories were very troublesome,” Rosenthal says, “and they felt that not only were they being victimized, but that the administration was not taking the issue seriously.”

Brooklyn Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, a co-sponsor, told Hamodia that “any educational institution receiving government funding must be held accountable,” and that the legislation sends “a clear message to college administrators that no more will hate go unchecked.”

Currently, colleges have to report only certain assaults, and the reporting is done in student handbooks. The new law would also require the schools to report all hate crimes, and the reporting must be done on the school’s website, so that it is easily visible to the public. The law applies to all colleges, including private schools, that receive any state funding.

The State Senate previously passed a similar version of the bill.

“We must make sure New York’s diverse college campuses are safe spaces for students of all races, ethnicities and creeds,” said Queens Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, sponsor of the Senate bill. “Unfortunately, the recent spread of disgraceful and harmful public rhetoric has led to a disturbing rise in acts of hate across our state and our nation. New York’s current statute regarding hate crimes on college campuses has not been updated in nearly two decades and does not reflect significant advancements in technology. This legislation will update the current law by requiring all colleges to report bias crimes on their websites and that it be reported in a separate, clearly designated category of crime.”  

The Assembly and Senate will now have to reconcile a final bill before it can be sent to the desk of Gov. Kathy Hochul. Hochul spokesman Avi Small told Hamodia that the governor “will review the legislation if it passes both houses of the legislature.”


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