By Julissa Catalan
On Sunday morning, just hours after the end of Yom Kippurthe holiest day of the year for Jewsfraternity brothers at Emory University’s Alpha Epsilon Pi found their house vandalized with spray-painted swastikas.
Hugh Flax DDS (@AtlantaSmiles) October 5, 2014
The next day, a second set of graffiti swastikas were found on a stone wall outside another Emory fraternity houseKappa Alphawhich is across the street from the AEPi house.
A second set of swastikas were found by AEPi members on the stone wall outside of KA Monday morning. pic.twitter.com/ZyLZe69L7H
Emory Wheel (@emorywheel) October 6, 2014
According to CNN, campus police have stepped up security in the area and are investigating the incidents, while Campus Life officials are meeting with student leaders to determine next steps.
Last month, painted Swastikas were found on the eighth floor of Emory’s Robert W. Woodruff Library. A connection between the two incidents is also being looked into.
In a statement to BuzzFeed, AEPi fraternity members said:
“The prejudiced individuals who conducted this outrageous offense succeeded in the intentions of making us feel unwelcomed, ostracized and unsafe in this ‘home’ we call Emory University. This egregious act has not only impacted our fraternity brothers but there is no doubt that it has also distressed and frightened the entire Emory community. As anti-Semitism rises at an alarming rate on college campuses around the nation, Emory must be an influential leader in stifling the perpetuation of such acts of inhumanity.”
Meanwhile Emory President James Wagner released a statement addressing the Emory community:
“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.”
Alpha Epsilon Pi calls itself the “world’s leading Jewish social fraternity,” with chapters on over 180 college campuses in six countries, and a mission to “develop the future leaders of the Jewish communities.”
“This weekendas the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur was endingour fraternity house at Emory University was vandalized and painted with swastikas.Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident on college campuses in North America and across the world.The rising tide of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity on college campuses is widespread and must be stopped.Universities are a place for the free and open exchange of ideas and Jewish students should not be made to feel unsafe in their homes on campuses.
“We applaud the Emory University administration for their swift and strong statement and actions on this incident and will work with them to ensure that our Brothers at Emoryand all Jewish studentsare kept safe.
“Our fraternity’s missiondeveloping leaders for Jewish communitiesis being tested today as we work with Brothers on 180 college campuses in the United States, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom and France to ensure that Jewish students are safe and that their pro-Israeli voices of peace are not silenced.”