Swastika in Glidden Hall. Photo via Twitter
Swastikas were spray painted inside Glidden Hall and on Jefferson Hill last Friday, the first day of Yom Kippur. Here’s how the Ohio U community reacted.
Swastikas were found spray painted onto the inside of Glidden Hall and on Jefferson Hill early Friday morning, with Ohio University’s administration quickly condemning these symbols later that day.
“We stand in solidarity with our Jewish community and strongly condemn this act of hate and anti-Semitism,” President Duane Nellis said in a university-wide statement.
— Adam Ben-Porath (@agbenporath) September 29, 2017
Both swastikas were painted over after the administration sent maintenance crews to remove the graffiti.
This graffiti appeared on campus just hours before Yom Kippur was set to begin worldwide for members of the Jewish faith. The Ohio U chapter of Hillel, an international Jewish campus organization, expressed concern at the timing of the graffiti.
“This type of graffiti, targeting our Jewish community, is deeply hurtful and inappropriate, especially as we enter the holiest days of the Jewish year,” said Brianna Becker, Director of Jewish Life at Ohio U.
Hillel has been working with the university and the police to “address this issue,” according to Becker’s official statement. Hillel is also remaining cautious for the upcoming Yom Kippur celebrations.
“We are working to ensure all security precautions are in place for Yom Kippur services and programming,” Becker said.
“We will continue to work with our campus and community partners to ensure all Jewish students feel safe and welcome on campus.”
While the swastikas are a more visible sign of antisemitism, Becker said discrimination happens all the time. She said that while Hillel as an organization may not receive regular anti-semitism, “the individuals (students and community members) that are a part of Hillel” do.
But members of Hillel feel “relatively safe” as Jews on campus, according to Becker. While they may feel safe, they report to Becker a feeling of a lack of representation.
“They do experience a lack of advocacy for Jewish issues/against antisemitism from both ends of the political spectrum, both on campus and within the larger community,” Becker said.
Moving forward, Nellis implored students to “take time to reflect on how you can be a more positive and active member of the Bobcat Community.”