Anti-Semitic and homophobic graffiti was found on the walls, hallways, and bathrooms of Marcy House, an undergraduate residence at Brown University that houses Jewish and LGBT fraternities, on Thursday night. The incident occurred just days after African-American transgender activist Janet Mock canceled her talk at the university’s Hillel House following pressure by anti-Israel activists, as reported by The Tower last week.
Brown’s administration sent students an e-mail on Friday morning referring to the “deeply offensive” graffiti on the Delta Xi and Beta Rho Pi residences, saying it “violates the most treasured values of this University,” according to Campus Reform.
Marcy residents reported the vandalism to administrators and worked throughout Thursday night with campus authorities, Hillel, and other university departments to remove it. “[BU] is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive, engaged campus and a safe and secure environment for every member of the campus community,” the administration wrote in the e-mail. “Incidents that threaten the participation and belonging of members of our community are personally difficult and communally unacceptable.”
Sam Rubenstein, a resident of Marcy, described the incident in a personal Facebook post. “One message was directly across from my door, apparently reacting to the Hebrew writing and mezuzah on my door,” wrote Rubenstein. “While I was shaken up, I am fine.” He added that it wasn’t clear whether the graffiti was related to the cancellation of Mock’s speech at Hillel.
The university’s public safety office has launched a full investigation and assured students that they face no immediate threat.
“Anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment has been allowed to fester on our campus for years now,” Brown student Lauren Galvan told Campus Reform. “I’m disturbed, disgusted and disappointed that Brown community members would do this, but am, sadly, not surprised.”
Galvan’s comments reflect the results of a study published last week by the Amcha Initiative, which found a “strong correlation” between anti-Israel activity on campus and anti-Semitic incidents.
[Photo: WPRI / YouTube ]