CST preparing for a new term on campus

11 Oct 2018 by CST

Going to university or college is one of the most exciting and life-changing experiences a person can have. The exposure to new knowledge, hundreds of new societies to join, new hobbies and interests to explore and for many, the first time leaving a familiar social circle and making new friends. For Jewish students, going to university should be an overwhelmingly positive and rewarding experience, just like for any other students.

As Jewish students across the UK prepare for a new term and a new start on campus, CST is preparing for them. CST staff will be there for them throughout their time at university or college and beyond; be it to support them, inform them or train them to join our team of volunteers. CST will be there to make sure that Jewish student life is as safe as possible and that Jewish students, like all other students on campus, are free to thrive, to explore, to feel comfortable and to enjoy campus life.

CST has two national student security coordinators, one based in Manchester and one in London who together work to meet the needs of Jewish students across the UK, from Scotland, right down to Exeter, as well as those in Northern Ireland. CST works closely with The Union of Jewish Students (UJS), that leads 60 Jewish societies (J-Socs) and provides a voice for over 8,500 Jewish students.

Antisemitism on Campus

Unfortunately, some Jewish students experience instances of antisemitism, either as witnesses or as victims, during their time at university. This can make Jewish students feel uncomfortable on campus, and in some cases, antisemitic incidents or sentiments on campus can leave students feeling vulnerable and afraid for their personal safety. For those students who are affected by antisemitism on campus, CST staff are there to help them to deal with it. 

Antisemitic incidents that have taken place in the United Kingdom

Before a new term starts, CST staff work with UJS staff by briefing them on the potential threats that Jewish students might encounter, and the support that CST can provide to them as student leaders.

Once a new term starts, CST continues to work with UJS and Jewish students to address any concerns they have about suspected antisemitism on campus.

Reporting Antisemitism

CST’s national student security coordinators are available and meet regularly with individual J-Socs to inform students about CST services and to encourage students to report antisemitic incidents. They make them aware of what may constitute an antisemitic incident, be it a casual comment from a fellow student or university staff, to malicious poster campaigns across campus or online harassment and intimidation. 

CST has co-written A Student’s Guide to Antisemitism with UJS, a helpful publication that defines antisemitism, explains the fine line between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, highlights a Jewish student’s legal rights and provides vital information on what to do and who to turn to in the event of experiencing antisemitism on campus.

Volunteering    

CST works with Jewish students on campuses throughout the country, helping to train volunteers in physical protection and security. We welcome all Jewish students to join this effort. Students who train and then volunteer with us help to ensure the safety and well-being of their friends and colleagues on campus and at Jewish student events. Students who get involved with CST find that it is a great way to meet new people and to make a positive contribution to their campus community and the wider Jewish community. As part of the training and as CST volunteers, students will develop invaluable leadership, communication and critical thinking skills. Training is offered over 10-12 weeks at several campuses across the UK during term time and students are also welcome to join CST’s shorter, more intense training sessions based in London, if they prefer to train outside term-time. All training is provided free of charge.

CST security volunteers training

The relatively few years that students spend at university or college means that CST must always recruit and train new student security volunteers to join campus teams. Nevertheless, each year, new Jewish students step up, enabling campus teams to take responsibility for their own needs, securing approximately 150 events on campus each year at over 50 locations.

CST student security volunteers are encouraged to continue volunteering beyond graduation and to join CST volunteer security teams as valued members after they have moved on from campus life.

Working with Universities

CST national student security coordinators liaise with university campus security personnel about Jewish student concerns, and about any potential threats on their campuses.

CST staff are always open to working with university student services to discuss Jewish student concerns and to provide guidance and information on tackling antisemitism on campus.

If you would like to get involved with your local CST team on campus, please contact students@cst.org.uk and you can find out more information about our work on campus.


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“"The Guardian of Israel doesn't slumber or sleep". This feeling of safety and security that we search for and need is gratefully appreciated when it's given to us by the CST. It really is a pleasure to work with the CST and to be looked after and cared for by them. Where ever I go throughout Britain, in all our Synagogues from north to south the impact and help given by the CST is warmly valued.”

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner
Senior Rabbi, Reform Judaism