Message to students from President Smith: Student speech wall anti-Semitic message

To all students:

Over the weekend, a positive message supporting the Jewish community that had been painted on the student speech wall near the Rec/IM and Pray-Harrold was defaced with an anti-Semitic message. The University condemns this hateful act that was targeted at our Jewish community, and we will continue to work with all of our campus and the surrounding community to support respect and inclusion at all levels. These are core values of Eastern Michigan University and this incident does not reflect the principles and standards that our students, faculty and staff hold dear. Today more than ever, we at Eastern Michigan University along with everyone across the nation must stand together united against intolerance, bigotry and hate, and must continue to support all who have been the intended targets of these kinds of vicious acts. Anti-Semitism, and other forms of hatred, have no place on our campus.  

Below is a statement from EMU Student Government regarding this incident. We wholeheartedly endorse this statement.

James M. Smith, President

Rhonda Longworth, Provost

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Sometime Sunday, a message in support of the historically oppressed Jewish people painted on the student speech wall between Pray-Harrold and Porter was altered to display a hateful anti-Semitic message. The message that defaced the wall mirrors a disturbing nationwide trend: incidents of hate speech and hate-based crimes against Jewish and other minoritized people have dramatically increased in the last two years, particularly on college campuses.

We reiterate our condemnation of all forms of hatred and bigotry now: hate has no home on Earth, but least of all here at EMU. These actions are not reflective of what we stand for as a campus. We also reiterate our support for our Jewish students, employees, and alumni. EMU Student Government stands against anti-Semitism, and no amount of paint will change that.

The Student Speech Space is managed by Student Government to provide a space for EMU students to convey messages -- both political and non-political -- to the campus community. We welcome and encourage speech about political matters. The wall is not, however, a venue for spreading hateful messages targeting specific groups of people. We are committed to keeping such hate off EMU's campus. Student Government has referred this matter to the Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility for appropriate review.

Hate speech like this is not tolerated at EMU because these actions are not reflective of what we stand for. It is time that we take serious steps towards becoming who we aspire to be. We encourage our fellow Eagles to embrace their responsibility to stand up to all forms of hatred and bigotry whenever they rear their ugly heads. Enough is enough.

Candice Crutcher, EMU Student Body President

Ethan Smith, EMU Student Body Vice President

December 10, 2018

Written by:
Official Statements

Contact:
Geoff Larcom
glarcom@emich.edu
734.487.4401