College sophomore Jake Mor is pictured trying to remove swastikas that were spray painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity house on Sunday morning. Photo Courtesy of Emory AEPi.
College sophomore Jake Mor is pictured trying to remove swastikas that were spray painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity house on Sunday morning. Photo Courtesy of Emory AEPi.

The Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity was the target of “crude, offensive graffiti, including swastikas,” spray painted onto its house early in the morning on Sunday, Oct. 5, according to an Oct. 5 University press release.

In an email to the Emory community, University President James W. Wagner condemned the act, which occurred merely hours after the end of Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days in the Jewish faith, as “a repugnant, flagrant emblem of anti-Semitism,” that is not only an offense to the fraternity and Emory’s Jewish community, but also 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,” Wagner wrote. “In short, its appearance on our campus is an attack against everything for which Emory stands.”

Additionally, a second set of swastikas was sprayed onto the stone wall outside of the Kappa Alpha (KA) house Monday morning. Both sets of swastikas were quickly scrubbed off by Campus Services.

Emory’s AEPi issued a statement on behalf of the entire fraternity thanking the community for its support as well as outrage at what it calls an insensitive display of prejudice.

“We are working alongside Emory to ensure that intolerable acts of hate, such as this, will never occur again,” the statement reads. “We are thankful for the community around us that has shown tremendous support throughout this time.”

Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Ajay Nair wrote in an email to the Wheel that he is deeply disturbed and angered by this incident.

“During my short time at Emory, I’ve learned that we have the ability to grow and develop as a community even in our most difficult moments,” Nair wrote. “I’m sure that Emory’s true character will prevail.”

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) released a statement of solidarity Sunday night, calling the swastikas a horrific violation of the values of the member organizations.

“The Emory fraternal system works to promote an inclusive and tolerant community,” the statement reads. “IFC remains committed to working with organizations across campus in helping to foster a more inclusive environment.”

Many Emory students and organizations have taken to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to express their take on the situation.

In a Facebook post, College junior Katie Fishbein wrote that seeing the image of swastikas on the AEPi house was terrifying and not in line with the openness and tolerance she experienced on Emory’s campus.

“In my heart of hearts, I know that most Emory students stand for peace and acceptance,” Fishbein wrote. “Make it your personal duty to ensure that ALL students can feel welcomed and loved at Emory … May this be the last act of intolerance that we experience on Emory’s campus.”

A statement from the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) offered a staunch rejection of what it calls an anti-Semitic message.

“SJP at Emory condemns the recent and abhorrent act of vandalism … [and] categorically rejects anti-[S]emitism, which is just as egregious as anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia and all other forms of racism and bigotry,” the statement read. “All of these forms of hate dehumanize people, and as advocates for justice and human rights we are committed to speaking out against injustice wherever it appears.”

The Student Government Association (SGA), sent an email Sunday night inviting the Emory community to wear blue on Monday to support Emory’s Jewish community and in condemnation of the “reprehensible act of bigotry” carried out.

Omega Psi Phi fraternity released a similar statement on Sunday:

“In this moment of hardship, The Brothers of the Pi Delta Delta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity stand with the brothers of Alpha Epsilon Pi. No one should have to be a victim of injustice and micro-aggressions simply for being who they are. This statement is not for likes, but to shine a light on the ignorance and hate that continues to plague Emory.”

College junior Molly Teplitzky, who works with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), wrote in an email to the Wheel that despite the lack of anti-Semitism in the United States compared to other countries, there is still work to be done.

“I certainly will not accept this act of hatred to be pushed under the rug and forgotten in the near future, and I hope the University and Emory community will stand to make a change,” Teplitzky wrote. “No act against any group should be accepted, and I am thankful for the support the Emory campus has shown, from President Wagner’s address to the Student Government promoting the [U]niversity to wear blue in solidarity with the Jewish community.”

While there has been heavy outpouring of support from across campus, some students questioned the University’s response to other incidents that have occurred on Emory’s campus in years past compared to its response in this case.

In a blog post titled “To AEPi Fraternity and the Greater Emory Community,” Emory alum Malaika Nicholas (’14C) asked where this level of community outreach was during incidents such as the racially insensitive comments on the student satire program “The Dooley Show” and President Wagner’s controversial Three-Fifths Compromise article.

“I’ve witnessed offensive statements and racial prejudice on Emory’s campus, but I’ve never — in my four years there — seen a [U]niversity-wide response like this to [an] incident with any other marginalized community on campus,” Nicholas wrote. “There are SEVERAL cultural, racial, gender and religious groups on campus that have never received the same call-to-action response from the university administration, and yet have faced blatant displays of prejudice or daily micro aggressions.”

Nicholas went on to write that students who show solidarity with AEPi should “reciprocate and show solidarity for other marginalized groups on campus that have experienced ‘abhorrent,’ ‘crude,’ ‘offensive,’ ‘egregious,’ insensitive displays of prejudice as well,” quoting several reactions to this incident.

College sophomore Feven Laine said instances such as these are an appalling violation of Emory’s diverse and inclusive community.

“The swastika shouldn’t merely offend Jews because what it represents is offensive to humanity, in general; it is widely known as a symbol of oppression and hate,” Laine said. “That being said, moving forward, I hope that the Emory community is just as outspoken about acts of intolerance aimed at any group of people, as it is being in light of this event.”

This article was updated Oct. 6 to reflect an extended version of the article printed in the Oct. 7 issue of the Wheel. The statement from SJP was also updated to include parts that were inadvertently omitted.

This article was updated at 1:07 a.m. on Oct. 6 to include statements from Omega Psi Phi fraternity, SGA, SJP, College junior Molly Teplitzky and College junior Katie Fishbein.

  • SamXie

    Its not antisemitism. Its legitimate criticism of Israeli policies,and stop trying to muzzle student’s free expression

    • RJH

      Eh, you’re wrong. And if you really believe that, you’re dumb.

    • Yair24601

      I think the OP is joking……

      • SamXie

        Yep. Sarcasm fail. I’ve seen and heard the most egregious antisemitism excused as “legitimate” criticism of Israel

    • Evanrb1

      SamXie,

      It is hate. And you are complicit in the crime.

    • dcta

      Really? Painting a swastika on a Jewish Fraternity on the night of the holiest year in the Jewish calendar is the same as legitimate criticism of Israeli policies? Sorry Sam, but you utterly ridiculous.

    • ErrolG

      Legitimate criticism is standing up and debating, not scurrying around like a rat in the night and painting symbols evocative of the most horrendous genocide of the 20th century. That is cowardly and idiotic. Unfortunately similar things are being done worldwide and morons like you are justifying it,

  • P. Nile Schwartz

    Kind of surprising. The Islamophiles are usually able to restrain their Jewhatred better than this.

    • Jon Robbins

      “The Islamophiles are usually able to restrain their Jewhatred better than this.”

      I wish I could say the same about the goy-haters.

      • P. Nile Schwartz

        but the Islamophiles are the goyhaters, thus your wishes make no sense.

        • Jon Robbins

          “but the Islamophiles are the goy-haters”

          Ah, no.

          • P. Nile Schwartz

            Then who are these goyhaters you type about? The killers of Christian Orthodox Serbs? Muslims. The killers of Arab Christians? Muslims.

  • Guest

    Typical Emory liberals are just going to be like Obama and talk without acting while the terrorists come in and attack us in our sleep. It seems that certain clubs at Emory could use some enhanced interrogation techniques, we all know who did it. We could bring them some democracy so it wouldn’t happen again.

    • javamon

      Like they did under Bush?

  • Guest

    Perhaps there is a link with this report from the second day of Rosh Hashanah.
    Is there more information that we are not being told.

    From the Wheel crime report:
    On Sept. 26 at 3:04 a.m., Emory Police Department (EPD) responded to a call regarding a large group of people in a verbal altercation near Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity at 17 Eagle Row. Individuals were also seen outside Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at 8 Eagle Row and Beta Theta Pi fraternity at 15 Eagle Row. There was no physical fighting but a lot of yelling. Information regarding the incident was turned over to the Campus Life professional on call.

    • Guest

      This was a completely unrelated incident as a member of one the aforementioned fraternities, and for you to suggest such a thing is disgusting. Let the police do their job.

  • calvindog

    Liberal school all looked the other way when the face of Emory, Jimmy Carter, started publicly espousing his love for the Muslim terror group, Hamas. Liberal school looked the other way when those who would fight radical Isalm — David Horowitz — got screamed down by Islamist students and their liberal supporters. What do you expect would happen to a campus which bends over so far for radical Islam? Do you think radical Islam will behave once appeased? They’re slaughtering people all over the world and trying to impose Sharia law on every campus they infect. So Emory gets what it deserves, which will not include my money even though I’m an Emory grad and make 7 figures a year. The only way to teach Emory a lesson is to cut them off as they are drunk on political correctness and Islamist appeasement.

    • Guest

      Either you are a racist too or you don’t know much about David Horowitz and all the racist things he has said.
      Expressing sympathy and support for people

      • calvindog

        Yes, Arafat was a statesman, Hamas and Hezbollah are freedom fighters, and Jimmy Carter was a great President. This is the mindset of the Emory campus so don’t complain when swastikas show up on buildings, you asked for it and you got it. Congrats, libs! Just don’t be sad when they tell you how much they hate gays and women and believe that 9 year old girls should be married.

      • calvindog

        To a radical Islamist: ‘racist things’ = pointing out that radical Islam is a cancer. Yes, that’s just awful.

    • Arnav Srivastava

      I think you are mixing a couple of issues here. No doubt the swastikas on the AEPi houses were anti-Semitic and terrible. But David Horrowitz is a horrible racist and has said many terrible things look him up before defending him. Also expressing sympathy and support for Palestine is not Antisemitism, it’s humanity.

      • calvindog

        Yes, expressing sympathy for a people who elected a radical Muslim terror group who has in its charter a call for the destruction of Jews everywhere is “humanity” — at Emory, inside ISSI and in Gaza. Congrats for aligning yourself with such scumbags.

        • Arnav Srivastava

          Alright man, I think you have a twisted view of Muslims and pretty simplistic view of Middle East conflict. I never aligned myself with Hamas or ISIS. And obviously the vandalism on the AEPi house was totally wrong and antisemitic; I never debated that. But if you are too angry to think straight or logically, I’m not really interested in discussing this with you.

          • calvindog

            Yeah, it’s a twisted view to acknowledge that of all the terror acts occurring all over the world the great majority are committed by Muslim terrorists. It’s twisted to think that a people who voted in a Muslim terror group as leadership and supported the shooting of rockets into civilian areas are bad. But you keep drawing moral equivalences between Muslim terrorists and conservative speakers who are pointing out the evil of radical Muslim terror. And I’m not interested in discussing anything with a supporter of such a worldwide cancer, so we’re good.

          • RobEhhh

            Still avoiding the logical fallacy of your original statement that was being deconstructed.

            Also still espousing vitriolic rhetoric largely out of context or factual input, opting rather for broad generalizations, conclusions about an individuals character without evidence, and conflation of criticism of Horowitz as equal to supporting terror? Also further otherifying an entire people.

            Lots and lots of hate in your voice. Can we even trust your opinion when so clearly distorted by your own emotional personal rage?

          • calvindog

            Only radical Islamists can take an article about swastikas drawn on a Jewish fraternity house and attempt to turn it around to cry “Islamophobia!” It never ends. Just remember, the savagery of the Islamists world-wide make it impossible for any sane person to not see the truth. And your heroes — Code Pink and CAIR — recently attended a hatefest in Iran in which 9/11 was blamed on the Jews. Similarly, in Gaza today banners flew with the Hamas flag and ISIS flag, welcoming ISIS to Gaza. Face what you are, God knows in private you admit it to yourselves.

          • RobEhhh

            All Discrimination = Bad. It is hypocritical of you to suggest that drawing parallels to similarities between discriminated peoples is a poor choice. You permit your misinformed hatred to define it for you so that somehow one.

            Once again you’ve made a whole bunch of assertions about character, peoples, ideologies, and context without anything except your hate. Some of the things you had to say have empirical evidence asserting the exact opposite with context no less!

            You chose to ignore every single question and once again opted for the weak “OOH LOOK AT THAT OVER THERE” argument (without context). You deny asking the necessary “Whys” to truly deal with hate in order to maintain your own.

            You should see the beautiful letter AEPi wrote back.

          • calvindog

            Yes, it’s misinformed hatred to recognize that radical Islamists and their supporters are destroying not only America but the entire world. Open up the newspaper and learn all about the positive things Islam is doing for the world, one terror attack at a time.

          • RobEhhh

            Newspapers are not empirical sources of scholarly citation thus incredibly limited in presenting an accurate, thorough, and contextual knowledge.

            It makes sense now how feel so comfortable making broad generalizations based on cooptation, generalizations, conflation, and lack of context: you use newspapers to “learn all about” anything.

          • calvindog

            Keep pontificating and splitting hairs about your disease of a religion; I’m too busy reading in every single newspaper and media source about the Muslim terror attacks in Jerusalem which killed a three month old baby; the shooting spree in Canada by a Muslim which murdered one; the Muslim terror attack in Canada from the other day which resulted in two injuries and one death, the multiple American Muslims arrested for trying to join ISIS, as well as the daily dozen or so Muslim suicide attacks, car bombings, raping of women, kidnapping of children and other Islamocentric delights. At what point do you get embarrassed as to what you are?

          • RobEhhh

            First line you open with dismissal, openly asserting you can’t be bother with specificity and detail.

            Irony: Mainstream Canadian media you’re reading/citing openly denounced the very ideology/framing you’re espousing in the context of the event.

            The fact that you haven’t been able to sustain 1 argument without multiple instances of broken discourse leaves me with no such compulsion to experience “embarrassment”.

          • calvindog

            Are you drunk?

          • RobEhhh

            I don’t drink. Are you offering? It’s a little early.

          • Chili Dogg

            Guest, that is the bloviating way that some people on campus talk. It’s not like normal people talk. Where else would you hear about “…multiple instances of broken discourse…”? It’s diarrhea of the mouth.

          • Chili Dogg

            Robbie writes: “First line you open with dismissal, openly asserting you can’t be bother with specificity and detail.”

            Irony: He just gave you details about several specific attacks! Hello, McFly? Is anyone home? You’re good at ignoring facts you don’t like, I’ll give you that.

          • Chili Dogg

            Robbie, you sound like a real pompous D-bag, dude!

          • Chili Dogg

            RobEhhh is not a psychiatrist but he plays one on the internet. Nice way to avoid dealing with the issues, Robbie.

          • Chili Dogg

            Good one again, Arnav! If you don’t like a fact someone tells you, accuse them of being too angry to think straight or logically. Don’t deal at all with what they said.

      • Chili Dogg

        So Arnav thinks it’s OK to shout down speakers that he disagrees with. Note that Arnav does NOT say it was wrong to shout down David Horowitz, even though he disagrees with him. If Arnav disagrees with a speaker, then it’s OK to shout him down and not let him speak. It’s like the old line: “I’m all for free speech BUT…”, meaning you’re not really for free speech.

        Arnav, most people can say that even if they don’t agree with a speaker, the speaker still has the right to free speech and should not be shouted down (which is rude and childish behavior). But Arnav and too many Emory students think you have the right to speak only if you agree with them. That’s one more reason they call the Emoroids… (I say that as an Emory grad myself – you’re embarrassing me!)

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  • Wise King

    If this were 1964 I would suspect the KKK. Nowadays I would suspect either Islamists or Jew hating leftists.

    • RobEhhh

      Yeah…because those are apparently the only sort of discriminators left?

      Irony: Organization often disingenuously characterized as “jew hating leftists” were some of the first the denounce the act.

      • Wise King

        Incitement followed by denouncement doesn’t add up to much.

        • RobEhhh

          Then you should the lovely letter AEPi wrote back to them. <3

  • Kev

    I’m confused. How did this get to “Islamophiles” and such? Why is it that a bunch of commentators on this article immediate assume Emory is a haven for liberals and leftists? I’d say most of the student body is fairly moderate. Either way, this is a terrible thing that occurred and I think should be held to more discussion than just wearing blue shirts on a Monday — it should be a learning opportunity on the history that this institution has with antisemitism and ways in which the student body should prevent it.

  • guest

    wow !!! I thought Emory had some level headed , and intelligent people there. if what I am seeing here in this thread is indicative of the type of people that attend the school then I have been mistaken. we should all through out race, religion and learn to get along as people and stop beating down others for what they believe in , or thier color, or thier clothing. stop worrying about what someone in the past said or did. you young adults are the future and if you insist on carrying over the mistakes of another generation then you will repeat the same mistakes we did

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