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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Olian speaks out about hate two weeks after antisemitic incident

Two weeks after university officials discovered antisemitic graffiti on the York Hill Campus, Quinnipiac University President Judy Olian issued a statement condemning harassment, group stereotyping and “age-old antisemitic or Islamophobic tropes or symbols that evoke violence.”

“Even though certain forms of extreme speech or actions are legally protected, they do not advance civil discourse or bring opposing factions to a greater understanding of each other,” Olian wrote in the Nov. 27 statement. “And they may violate QU’s own code of conduct built on respect for differences.”

On Nov. 13, amid a national uptick in on-campus hate incidents fueled by the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza, Quinnipiac officials found a swastika carved into a mailbox in the Rocky Top Student Center.

John Morgan wrote in a Nov. 17 statement to The Chronicle that facilities staff removed the graffiti “shortly after it was discovered.” Morgan confirmed the university’s Department of Public Safety is still investigating the incident as of Nov. 28.

“Anyone with information about this is asked to call or text Public Safety’s confidential tip line at 203-582-6201,” Morgan wrote. “The university condemns all forms of hate speech and bias-motivated acts and behaviors, in accordance with university policy.”

Olian did not specifically mention the swastika incident in her statement but noted that “the divisiveness of the Israel-Hamas war, in particular, has seeped into universities.”

Case in point, more than 120 antisemitic incidents occurred on university campuses in the first month of the war, according to the Anti-Defamation League. For perspective, the ADL documented only 12 similar incidents on college campuses during the same month last year.

“The Jewish students on campus, they’re scared and uncomfortable,” Reena Judd, Quinnipiac’s rabbi, said after the Nov. 13 incident. “This has been the hardest time of their Jewish life.”

Likewise, Muslim Campus Life documented nearly 80 incidents of on-campus Islamophobia in the U.S. between Oct. 9 and Nov. 6.

Referencing Quinnipiac’s commitment to creating a “safe, respectful environment” for community discourse, Olian urged students to engage in challenging discussions with “civility, with moral awareness, within an environment in which each person is protected and safe.”

“At Quinnipiac, we must center our discourse and reactions on our core values of respect for differences, of willingness to listen, of informed debate and attempt to understand,” Olian wrote. “We can challenge, but with civility.”

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