(UPDATE) – Emory Police investigate swastika graffiti
This story has been updated.
Emory Police are investigating an act of vandalism at the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house.
Someone painted the house with graffiti, including swastikas, on the morning of Oct. 5, a day after the end of Yom Kippur. Alpha Epsilon Pi is an historically Jewish fraternity.
Emory University President Jim Wagner released a statement Sunday evening condemning the act as “crude” and “offensive.”
“On behalf of our community, I denounce this abhorrent act,” he wrote. “It is an offense against a Jewish fraternity and the Jewish members of our community, and it is a repugnant, flagrant emblem of anti-Semitism. It is also an offense against the entire university.”
There was also another recent act of vandalism at the school.
The Emory Wheel student newspaper reported that on Sept. 10 someone called Emory Police after finding swastikas drawn on the library’s eighth floor.
Emory Police have also stepped up patrols “in all the areas of campus that house students in historically Jewish organizations as well as Hillel and Chabad.” The Student Government Association encouraged students to wear blue today in support of the school’s Jewish community.
“We are committed to making sure that this moment of anger is a springboard for action, and that all people and all communities at Emory feel supported and safe on our campus,” the SGA statement says.
Here is Wagner’s letter:
To the Emory Community:
It saddens me to report that the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house, an historically Jewish fraternity here at Emory, was the target of crude, offensive graffiti, including swastikas, early Sunday morning, October 5, shortly after the end of the observance of Yom Kippur.
On behalf of our community, I denounce this abhorrent act. It is an offense against a Jewish fraternity and the Jewish members of our community, and it is a repugnant, flagrant emblem of anti-Semitism. It is also an offense against the entire university. Among the many pernicious things the swastika symbolizes, in the last century it represented the most egregious and determined undermining of intellectual freedom and truth-seeking. In short, its appearance on our campus is an attack against everything for which Emory stands.
Emory University will not tolerate such acts. Instead we must together pledge Emory University’s continuing commitment to raise awareness and prevent all forms of violence and discrimination; to foster openness and diversity of thought, experience, spirituality, and culture; and to seek positive transformation in our community and the world. We all have a responsibility to uphold the principles we hold dear as an academic community, and to create a community that is inclusive, open, respectful, and welcoming to all.
Emory Police officers are actively investigating the incident and have increased patrols to the area. If you have any information about the individuals who may have perpetrated these acts, please contact the Emory Police at 404-727-6111.