Tulane University is adding antisemitism training to its freshman orientation program, the Algemeiner reported.

The announcement from the New Orleans university, whose student population is 40 percent Jewish, was made after Tulane Jewish students began a petition urging the school to make antisemitism training part of its “Newcomb-Tulane College First Year Experience,” a three day orientation session for new students that occurs in August before the start of school.

The petition noted that as “antisemitism has exploded in the United States over the course of the last five years, American colleges and universities have become hotspots of antisemitic discrimination.”

In response to the increase in Jew-hatred experienced by Jewish students, and in “an effort to prevent this form of bigotry from growing on our campus,” the petition called for Tulane administrators to include mandatory antisemitism training in freshman orientation.

“Institutions of higher education have long been considered havens of tolerance and progress. However, American college campuses are rife with anti-Jewish hatred,” the petition said.

It added that the Tulane campus “is not immune to these growing anti-Jewish sentiments.” It mentioned that in February, a Tulane student wrote an article defending antisemitic statements made by Kanye West, accusing Jews of controlling Hollywood and making an equivalency between Jews and Hitler.

“The Jewish community at Tulane faces significant and immediate inequities in the form of hostility and prejudice,” the petition said. “If Tulane is to live up to its foundational principles, the university must act to curb the antisemitism that is seeping into our campus culture. The first step is to include mandatory antisemitism awareness training in Freshman Orientation.”

Tulane university senior Ben Bernstein told the Tulane Hullabaloo that he came up with the idea of antisemitism training after the offensive article was published.

He said that Tulane’s Black Student Union, Multicultural Council and multiple fraternities have endorsed his plan.

He also met with Tulane’s freshman orientation coordinator who approved of the additional training.

“To the administrators at Tulane who have generously given their time to meet with me and consider this issue, thank you,” Bernstein told the news outlet. “We urge you to be trailblazers once again and address this rampant form of discrimination by including antisemitism awareness training in freshman orientation.”

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