UPDATE: Jewish frat covered in anti-Semitic graffiti at Brown University

Brian Ledtke
Campus Reform Intern

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  • Anti-Semitic graffiti was found Thursday night on walls, hallways, and bathrooms at Marcy House, home to Jewish and LGBT fraternities.
  • Administrators sent a campus-wide email Friday morning supporting the victims and offering counseling for affected students.
  • Students say they are not surprised by the incident, given the history of anti-Semitism at Brown.
  • UPDATE: The Brown Daily Herald reports that the graffiti in Marcy House said, “Gay will die,” and “Holocaust 2.0.” 

    Both Beta Rho Pi and Zeta Delta Xi released statements Saturday night saying, “We are devastated and outraged that this anti-Semitic and homophobic hate crime — and to be clear, this is a hate crime — occurred in our home.”

    "I'm disturbed, disgusted and disappointed that Brown community members would do this, but am, sadly, not surprised.”   

    Investigations by the university are still underway. 

    Brown University (BU) students received an email Friday morning alerting them to a “deeply offensive” incident in which homophobic, anti-Semitic, and threatening graffiti was written on walls, hallways, and bathrooms in a predominantly-Jewish fraternity house.

    “Unfortunately, we write this morning to share details on such an incident – one that is deeply offensive and violates the most treasured values of this University,” the email said.

    During the night, residents of Marcy House, home to the Jewish and LGBT fraternities Zeta Delta Xi and Beta Rho Pi, found “violent” and “threatening” anti-semitic and homophobic graffiti plastered around their house. The students contacted administrators and the Department of Public Safety, who responded immediately.

    According to the email, obtained by Campus Reform, Public Safety, Campus Life, Hillel, and other departments worked with Marcy House residents throughout the night to remove the graffiti and to offer support to the affected students.

    “[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 email asserted. “Incidents that threaten the participation and belonging of members of our community are personally difficult and communally unacceptable.”

    Brian Clark, Director of News and Editorial Development at BU, told Campus Reform that BU is declining to reveal the exact threats that were written in Marcy House in order to “avoid further insult to the members of the Brown community.”

    BU student Sam Rubenstein, a resident of Marcy House, took to Facebook to share his experience.

    “One message was directly across from my door, apparently reacting to the Hebrew writing and mezuzah on my door...While I was shaken up, I am fine,” Rubenstein said, adding that he has no idea if this was related to recent cancellations and protests of speakers on campus.

    [RELATED: Brown students protest trans speaker because she was hosted by Jewish group]

    The email tells students that Public Safety has initiated a full investigation and will work to identify the perpetrators, but assures them “there is no reason to believe that there is any immediate danger to any individual, organization or the campus community.”

    “I feel so amazingly blessed to have such great friends and support here at Brown,” Rubenstein wrote of the community’s response. “I was inspired to see students working together last night to clean the messages off...we will heal together.”

    The university is also hosting community gatherings Friday for students who want in-person support, explaining that “while the graffiti has been removed, the impact of identity-based bias and threat is not easily wiped away … This incident impacts not only those immediately involved, but threatens our shared sense of safety and respect on campus.”

    Lauren Galvan, a student at BU, told Campus Reform she isn’t surprised by the anti-Semitism on campus, claiming it has been a long-simmering problem at the university.

    [RELATED: America’s colleges campuses a hotbed of anti-Semitism]

    "Anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment has been allowed to fester on our campus for years now. I'm disturbed, disgusted and disappointed that Brown community members would do this, but am, sadly, not surprised,” Galvan said.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @brianledtke



    Brian Ledtke

    Brian Ledtke

    Campus Reform Intern

    Brian Ledtke is an intern for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, Brian spent 15 months traveling around the world. He has previously worked as a staff writer for The Saginaw NewsThe Grand Rapids Rapidian, and The Grand Valley Lanthorn.

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