Update 08/30/23: This article has been updated to include information from campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof and BPD spokesperson Jessica Perry.
Update 08/29/23: This article has been updated to include a statement from campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof.
Content warning: antisemitism
The campus chapter of Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, or AEPi, reported an act of antisemitic activity against its house this past weekend.
Six individuals approached the house “during the late hours” and placed shellfish on its front door, threw it into the house and onto the front porch and scattered it around the premises, according to a statement released Sunday by AEPi. The statement noted the targeting of a Jewish fraternity and use of non-kosher food in this incident.
According to BPD spokesperson Jessica Perry, the incident — which BPD is investigating as a hate crime — was reported at 1:07 a.m. Saturday. Officers responded to the call and spoke with fraternity members, Perry noted, and students mentioned that the incident occurred during Sabbath.
“This act of vandalism goes beyond mere destruction,” the AEPi statement reads. “It represents a calculated decision to target Jewish students within our campus community.”
AEPi noted in the statement that members are working with campus administration, BPD and UCPD to identify the individuals responsible.
This instance of antisemitic activity is not an isolated one, the AEPi statement says, as such incidents are “widespread within university settings.” Earlier this year, antisemitic graffiti was written on the doors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building.
“We are saddened and dismayed by what appears to be a hateful incident of antisemitism targeting the members of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity,” said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof in an email statement. “The campus administration has a long-standing and unwavering commitment to confronting antisemitism, and its expression, as we do with all forms of bias, discrimination, and hatred.”
Mogulof noted that the campus vice chancellors of Equity & Inclusion and Student Affairs are providing supportive services to members of both AEPi and the broader Jewish community on campus.
An investigation of the incident is underway, he added, and campus will ensure that any violations of laws, campus policies or the campus code of student conduct are met with appropriate consequences.
“Our aim is to send a resolute message that such behavior will not find acceptance within our campus community,” the AEPi statement reads.
In an additional statement provided Wednesday, Mogulof noted that similar incidents — also involving shellfish — may have occurred at multiple fraternities, suggesting that the vandalism may not have been specifically targeted at AEPi. However, he said the investigation is still in progress, and further details may emerge.
Campus leadership has been in regular communication with AEPi and key stakeholders, Mogulof said, and has prepped an email to be sent to the Jewish community. This email contains information on campus resources for those impacted, including mental health support, reporting pathways and Jewish resources, according to Mogulof, and has been held “pending conversations with those most impacted by this incident.”
“Regardless of the facts as they unfold, we understand that the members of AEPi experienced this as an antisemitic attack and in conversations that have been had with AEPi leaders, that sense of harm was very evident,” Mogulof said in the Wednesday statement. “When dealing with the emotional and social fallout from incidents of bias and bigotry, intent can be distinct from impact.”
Check back for updates.