Someone scrawled swastikas on the house of the historically-Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, at Emory University on Saturday, Oct. 4, just after the conclusion of Yom Kippur.
By Monday, the fraternity had painted over the offensive graffiti, but administration officials at this university located in Atlanta, Georgia are actively conducting an investigation to determine who was responsible.
Students interviewed about the incident were outraged, and some said they and their friends were wearing Israeli and Jewish symbols to show that what happened was “not okay.” Jews and non-Jewish students showed solidarity with the fraternity and against hatred.
According to a statement obtained by Business Insider, Emory president James Wagner sent the following email to the Emory University community on Sunday night:
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.
Swastikas were also found scrawled on the eighth floor of Emory’s main library on Sept. 10.
Emory is believed to have the highest percentage of Jewish students of universities located in the southern United States. Approximately 30 percent of Emory students identify as Jewish.