President John Fry sent an email to students on Thursday afternoon that reported a swastika was drawn on a chair in a Drexel classroom.
The message was addressed to the Drexel Community and was titled “No Room for Hate at Drexel.” The email elaborated on what is expected of the Drexel community to combat such an event. “Let me be clear: There is no room for such symbols of hate anywhere on Drexel’s campus,” Fry wrote.
Fry went on to describe how important it is that Drexel is a hate-free environment, and any such behavior is not tolerated whatsoever. He said that harboring diverse backgrounds is detrimental to enriching classroom discussions. Fry also specifies that free speech and “robust dialogue,” is encouraged, but there is a line that should not be crossed when dealing with antisemitism, racism, harassment, or violence.
As Fry exhorted in the email, “Drexel is stronger when we are all working and learning together and from one another in a safe and educational environment.”
He included that Kim Gholston, Drexel’s Chief Diversity Officer, is working to encourage the raising of voices across Drexel’s staff and student body.
The symbol has since been removed and the Office of Equality and Diversity (OED) has been corresponding with students and faculty about the incident. The Drexel University Police Department is currently conducting an investigation. The email did not include whether or not a suspect is in question.
The student body will be waiting to hear further about this investigation and the repercussions involved, and there will be expected responses from the Drexel community — especially from the Perelman Center for Jewish Life on 34th Street.
Students are encouraged to contact OED by calling 215-895-1405 or email them at [email protected] to report any acts or incidents of discrimination, harassment, or biased incident, including graffiti.