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Swastikas Spray-Painted Inside Jewish Fraternity at Vanderbilt

Three swastikas were spray-painted inside a fraternity house at Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University in what described as a “reprehensible” act.

Three swastikas were spray-painted inside a Jewish fraternity house at Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University in what campus authorities described Tuesday as a “reprehensible” act.

The university's police chief and assistant vice chancellor August Wilson said the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

Two of the Nazi symbols were daubed in an elevator and another on a basement door after a party at the house of the Tau Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi I in the early hours of Saturday, the university said in a statement.

"Regardless of who is responsible and what the motivation was, the university condemns the reprehensible depiction of this symbol that since the time of Nazi Germany has come to be associated with hate, anti-Semitism, violence, death and murder," said Susan Wente, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the university. "We understand the anguish and pain that this hateful symbol causes, and we stand together to condemn any effort to intimidate or send an unwelcoming message to the Jewish members of the Vanderbilt community.”

Josh Hyman, the student president of the AEPi chapter at Vanderbilt, was horrified at the graffiti. "We know that these symbols of hate do not represent the attitudes of our fellow Vanderbilt students," he said in a statement, according to The Tennessean.

Another fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, condemned the incident as “an act of hate directed towards the entire Jewish community here at Vanderbilt.”

“The spray-painting of swastikas is more than a simple prank or mischievous act of vandalism. It’s an act of hatred,” he added.



— Alastair Jamieson