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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Antisemitic graffiti found by AU student in a bathroom in Anderson Hall

Four symbols were carved into a bathroom stall in Anderson Terrace

Editor's Note: The language in this article has been changed to refer to the antisemitic act as vandalism.

Antisemitic vandalism was found in a men’s bathroom stall in the Lower Level of Anderson Hall by an American University student on Sept. 7.

Jason Churchfield, a senior in the School of International Service, found four symbols, three of them Nazi propaganda, carved into the stall. Churchfield promptly posted a picture to his Instagram story.

“I identify as Jewish and have been lucky to have an incident-free four years at AU,” Churchfield said. “So when I saw this, I decided all I had to do was just show people what I saw.” 

The vandalism consists of two swastikas, Nazi SS (Schutzstaffel) bolts and a Star of David. 

Elizabeth McCabe Deal, the assistant vice president for Community and Internal Communication, emailed a statement to The Eagle from Housing and Residence Life on the vandalism.

“Following reports on Thursday morning of hateful vandalism in Anderson Hall, AUPD initiated a full investigation,” McCabe Deal said. 

The vandalism comes in the midst of two major Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, which occurs from Sept. 6 to 8 and Yom Kippur, which occurs on Sept. 15 and 16. 

In her statement to The Eagle, McCabe Deal addressed the timing of the incident: “There is no place in our community — or anywhere — for hate and intolerance, particularly during this high holy week for the Jewish community.” The statement then went on to offer support to the Jewish community, despite the actions of “disrespect and ignorance.” 

Churchfield said that he has found ways to grow and reflect after finding the vandalism.

“Antisemitism, especially recently, is extremely apparent in the world,” Churchfield said. “It’s something that I’ve taken time to combat in my own ways.”

Doing his part in engaging with his community at AU by bringing University awareness to the vandalism was “one of those ways,” he said. 

AUPD is currently working on an ongoing investigation to identify the parties responsible, and additional steps will be taken as more information is found, according to McCabe Deal. Anonymous tips may be sent via the Rave Guardian Safety App or by writing to investigations@american.edu.

smattalian@theeagleonline.com 


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