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Anti-Semitic vandalism reported in University residence hall

Vandalism that referenced white supremacy and Nazism was reported in 17th Avenue Residence Hall last Wednesday.
The 17th Avenue Residence Hall as seen on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017.
Image by Alex Tuthill-Preus

The 17th Avenue Residence Hall as seen on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017.

A University of Minnesota residence hall was vandalized with anti-Semitic messages last Wednesday. 

On Nov. 28, members of a Living Learning Community in the University of Minnesota’s 17th Avenue Residence Hall notified staff to the presence of racially biased vandalism in the building that targeted a “community-created poster,” according to an email sent to hall residents. 

The email described the vandalism as anti-Semitic and containing references to white supremacist and Nazi sentiments. The University does not have information on who was responsible for the vandalism, according to the email.

The Charlotte’s Home for Black Women, the Chinese Language and Cultural House, Greek Unity House, Huntley House and ROTC House are all Living Learning Communities that are located in the residence hall. 

In response to the event, Housing and Residential Life will host a community forum on Dec. 11 for residents of the hall “to explore the question of what community [they] want in [their] home.”

“We know these incidents do not occur in isolation. They are connected to oppressive histories and systemic injustices that have had an increased presence in our cultural conversations over the past year,” the email said.

In a statement sent to the Minnesota Daily, campus Jewish student group Minnesota Hillel said it condemns the vandalism and will continue to monitor the situation. The statement said Hillel will work closely with the Office of Student Affairs and University police to ensure the vandalism and similar incidents are taken seriously. 

“Perpetrators of these types of incidents are intent on spreading a message of hate and challenging the openness and respectful atmosphere of our community. Collectively, we reject these chilling acts and the hate they represent. The recent spike in hate incidents both nationally and locally directed against Jews and other minorities is deeply disturbing,” the statement said. 

Anti-Semitic vandalism is not new to campus residence halls. In February 2017, an 18-year-old student was arrested by the University Police Department for felony criminal damage to public property with bias involving a swastika. That same month, a Jewish resident of Pioneer Hall discovered a drawing depicting a swastika and Nazi concentration camp in their dorm room. 

The day after the student was arrested, multiple swastika-covered fliers advertising a neo-Nazi website were discovered near campus.

The University and Housing and Residential Life is working to support those affected by the vandalism, according to a statement from the University.

This is a breaking news report, more information will be added as it becomes available. 

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