Anti-Semitic graffiti found twice this week in Weldon

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

A Weldon washroom became the scene of multiple hate crimes this week when it was defaced with anti-Semitic slurs.

Students were alarmed to find two nearly identical anti-Semitic graffiti attacks in a Weldon bathroom over the last week. The anonymous crimes have left students wondering what could have provoked someone to commit such senseless acts.

The hateful messages came in the form of a swastika with an anti-Semitic message printed below and appeared in a fourth floor, men’s washroom.

The first defacement surfaced late last week and the second was discovered late yesterday afternoon.

Though the incidents have not been officially connected, both messages were written in the same bathroom, displayed similar swastikas and read the same offensive profanity.

The Campus Community Police Service currently has no leads as to the identity of the perpetrator or perpetrators, but an investigation is underway.

CCPS director Elgin Austen said students may not have necessarily committed the crime: “[The culprits] could have been anybody and [the police] are trying not to raise anxieties any higher than they already are.”

The anti-Semitic graffiti was removed immediately after it was found.

Kyle Lichtman, president of Western’s Hillel chapter, issued a statement after the first defacing. He characterized the attack as “a repulsive act against the entire community and the values of tolerance and understanding which Western is known for.”

Lichtman released another statement when the second crime was discovered. “[The defacements are] an attack on all Western values, Canadian respect and civility,” he said.

He expressed hope administration would do everything in its power to ensure these acts do not continue.

University Students’ Council President Tom Stevenson adamantly opposed the graffiti.

“[The USC] likes to promote a safe campus where students can work and study without fear,” Stevenson said.

“That sort of speech is not welcome on our campus and [the USC] will be diligent to ensure that [other similar attacks] do not happen again.”

The defacements occurred in spite of last years’ USC initiative to eradicate offensive graffiti with posters addressing the already present hate crimes.

Students with any knowledge of the crimes are encouraged to come forward and contact CCPS.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette