The university is currently investigating the discovery of anti-Semitic graffiti in the Roger Williams University Library, where the phrase “Sieg Heil!” and a swastika symbol were found scrawled across a bathroom stall.
The words, a Nazi salute that translates to “Hail my leader,” were accompanied by a swastika symbol. The writing was removed immediately after its discovery.
At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26, President Donald Farish sent out a message regarding the “bias incident.”
“I want to emphasize that such a hateful symbol has no place on the Roger Williams University campus,” Farish said. “It is simply antithetical to all that we stand for as a university. RWU has absolutely no tolerance for acts of anti-Semitism and any other forms of hate or bias.”
“Incidents such as this impact not only specific groups but also our collective sense of safety and respect. We have chosen to notify the entire campus of this act because public awareness and education regarding such incidents help to create a climate in which all members of a community share the role of identifying and reporting violations.”
Along with many students on campus, the University Multifaith Chaplain, Reverend Nancy Soukup, condemned this anti-Semitic act.
“I’m saddened and my heart breaks for Jewish members of this campus,” Soukup said.
She also stated that it is important for moments like these to turn into opportunities to educate people. Hillel, the Center for Jewish Life at RWU, also put out a message responding to the incident and has plans to take action.
“Please join us in our efforts to stop anti-Semitism on campus Wednesday, April 26 from during dinner (4-8pm) and Friday, April 28th during lunch and dinner. We will have a table for everyone to sign a pledge which writes ‘RWU Stands Against Anti-Semitism,'” the statement read.
“We must recognize this for what it is: a hate crime.”
Jake Sussman, President of Hillel at RWU, says the school has been “incredible” in helping with the incident.
Hillel would also like people to know that they are here for anyone who feels affected by this act of hate.
Students with any information are encouraged to contact Public Safety via firstname.lastname@example.org or (401) 245-3611, or call the Office of Student Life at (401) 254-3042.