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CSG and AUJS

Supporting Jewish students

AUJS and CSG have agreed that campus incidents should be reported directly to AUJS only, who will then work with CSG.

The University of Melbourne. Photo: Polly Clip.
The University of Melbourne. Photo: Polly Clip.

The Community Security Group (CSG) Victoria and the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) are strengthening their relationship in the wake of several anti-Israel university motions, that have left students feeling threatened on campus.

The two community organisations started working together after the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) passed a motion titled, “UMSU stands with Palestine – BDS and Solidarity Policy.”

AUJS president Natalie Gunn told The AJN, “With all the articles and the motions and everything that we’ve been facing, a lot of students don’t know where to turn or how to report it; they know AUJS has a stake in it, and they know CSG does too but they don’t really see the way in which we work together.”

AUJS and CSG have agreed that campus incidents should be reported directly to AUJS only, who will then work with CSG.

“It’s important that we understand from a security and a threat point of view what’s happening at universities around Australia so we can track trends and see if things are escalating, or if they’re not as bad as we thought they were,” CSG CEO Justin Kagan said.

Kagan described the process by which they will be assisting AUJS and its members, saying, “We will debrief any reported incident fully with the person that it happened to,” adding, “We want to help AUJS in preparing their students for this, how to react to it, how to de-escalate situations, and how to look after themselves from a mental health point of view as well.”

In the lead-up to “Israeli Apartheid Week”, which is expected to take place again next year, both AUJS and CSG are wanting to prepare Jewish students “for what might be coming”.

CSG is also looking at doing training with AUJS and its members.

Kagan told The AJN that the training will have “nothing to do with self-defence”, but rather “de-escalation skills, and general awareness training”.

Both CSG and AUJS explained that it is vital that all incidents are reported, Kagan saying, “It’s very hard to know what your community needs if they don’t come and tell you.”

Gunn said, “We really have seen over the past couple of years, the community working really well as a team,” adding, “We are just one community working together to combat it.”

She continued, “We all try to look after our certain area, but in doing that we need to work together.”

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