“Crude and hateful” graffiti was scrawled on the back door of the Jewish Life House at Wheaton College, a small liberal arts college in Norton, Massachusetts.
Upon being informed of the incident, Wheaton President Ronald Crutcher sent out an e-mail to students and faculty, affirming that the university would not tolerate such acts of hate.
“I want to be clear: this will not be tolerated,” Crutcher said, adding that the students had also heard “derogatory shouts coming from the street next to their home two nights before.”
He said that Wheaton College remains “committed to appreciating, understanding and celebrating diversity” and that “every individual–student, faculty and staff member–has the right to feel welcomed and safe on our campus and in our community.”
Wheaton officials will hold a campus meeting to “speak out against bigotry” and to “discuss the graffiti,” The Boston Herald reported.
Although campus police have launched an investigation into the incident and Wheaton officials have contacted city police, the perpetrators have not yet been identified.
The Anti- Defamation League released a statement condemning the anti-Semitic act at the center for Jewish life on campus, but praising Crutcher for his swift handling of the situation.
“ADL condemns this anti-Semitic incident, and commends Wheaton College President Ronald Crutcher for immediately making it clear to all that acts of hate will not be tolerated,” said Derrek L. Shulman, Regional Director of ADL New England.
“We commend Campus Police and Norton Police for responding swiftly and seriously to this apparent hate crime,” added Jeffrey Robbins, ADL New England Regional Board of Directors Board Chair. “ADL will continue to work with the campus community, and help it to grow stronger in response to this deeply troubling incident.”
Students living at the Jewish Life House have reportedly been targeted in the past and have often been subjected to hateful remarks shouted from the street.