The University of Denver is investigating several recent acts of antisemitic vandalism in campus residence halls, including what a Jewish student group described as the gluing of pork products onto the door to a student’s dorm room.
DU officials said in a message to the campus that a student living in Johnson-McFarlane Hall on Thursday found their door vandalized. And on Sunday night, the university said, two residents of Nagel Hall reported their doors were vandalized and religious items were removed.
The student group DU Hillel said the three students had mezuzot, or Jewish prayers placed in doorways, “taken down and defiled, and one had pork products glued to their door,” according to a social media post. (Judaism prohibits the consumption of pork.)
“Small acts of hate lead to bigger ones and make life unsafe for all students,” DU Hillel said.
DU officials say they are investigating the incidents.
“We want to be very clear that these acts are NOT acceptable within DU’s community, and acknowledge the harm that has been caused to members of our community,” the university’s statement said. “Every student, faculty and staff member deserves a place to live, learn and work that is respectful, welcoming and safe. Each of us shares the responsibility to foster that environment through our actions.”
The Denver Police Department said so far none of the victims of the antisemitic incidents had reported them to local law enforcement.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact DU’s Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX by emailing [email protected] or filing a report online, DU said.
Antisemitic incidents have been on the rise in Colorado, with the Anti-Defamation League’s Audit of Antisemitic Incidents 2021 recording 92 reports of antisemitic incidents in the state in 2021, a 53% increase over 2020.
“We call on our community members to be accountable for our community,” the university’s statement read. “This means holding oneself and one’s community responsible when harm is caused, seeking ways to prevent harmful acts from occurring in the future, as well as engaging in campus life, including cultural and educational opportunities, to make connections across the DU campus.”
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