Administrators at Cornell University today announced that all classes would be canceled Friday due to the “extraordinary stress” caused by a threat against Jews on campus, reports CNN.
Cornell junior Patrick Dai, 21, faces charges of threatening to kill or injure others following online posts targeting Jewish students.
NBC reports the threats specifically named the school’s Center for Jewish Living.
“No classes will be held, and faculty and staff will be excused from work, except for employees who provide essential services,” an email to campus and community members said from the University, according to the Cornell Daily Sun. “We hope that everyone will use this restorative time to take care of yourselves and reflect on how we can nurture the kind of caring, mutually supportive community that we all value.”
Friday has been specifically designated a “community day.”
The campus’ Hillel organization estimates that 22% of the student body is Jewish. Since the threats, some students have not attended class at all while others have implemented the buddy system.
“My family, last night we had a discussion whether it’s safe for me to be on campus or whether I should come back home,” student Davian Gekman told CBS New York.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul says she wants Dai prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“We’re going to run these cases all the way to the ground to make sure that people know you cannot get away with this here in the state of New York,” she said.
Jews represent 60 percent of all religious-based hate crimes, according to FBI statistics cited by CNN. Yet they only represent 2.4% of the American public.
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