Swastika found on ceiling tile of Anderson Hall bathroom
University pursuing further information about incident, Burwell said
A swastika was reported on a ceiling tile of an Anderson Hall bathroom on Sept. 26, American University president Sylvia Burwell wrote in an email to the AU community on Monday evening.
The antisemitic vandalism was found during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Burwell said that Housing and Residence Life staff and American University’s police department immediately responded to the location, documented the scene and removed the vandalized ceiling tile. The incident was also reported to the Office of Equity and Title IX for next steps under the discrimination and non-Title IX sexual misconduct policy.
“We condemn this hateful, antisemitic act,” Burwell wrote in the email. “The discovery of this hate symbol during Rosh Hashanah, a holy time for our Jewish community members, adds to the harm and hurt. Antisemitism in any form takes a terrible toll and is unacceptable. We recognize that many of our Jewish community members may still be celebrating the holiday, but we wanted to make the community aware of the situation and share relevant safety and support resources as soon as possible.”
Burwell listed AUPD safety services, including the Rave Guardian Safety app and campus escort services for AU community members. The University administration is pursuing further information about this incident as there are no security cameras in campus bathrooms so it is unclear when the incident occurred, Burwell said.
Burwell asked the help of the AU community to identify those who may be responsible for the incident.
“This behavior is unacceptable, and we will confront antisemitism in all forms,” Burwell wrote. “There is more work to do to address these difficult situations, from educating about antisemitism to curtailing hate and bias acts. The university will continue engagement with our campus community and external partners to promote learning about these topics, inclusivity, and a greater sense of belonging.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.