SAE house tagged with anti-Semitic graffiti

April 26, 2015, 11:59 p.m.
SAE's house was defaced with with swastikas Saturday night. (Courtesy of Daniel Mael)
SAE’s house was defaced with with swastikas Saturday night. (Courtesy of Daniel Mael)

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity house was painted with swastikas Saturday night, along with several personal slurs and epithets.

The graffiti was discovered late on Saturday night by members of the fraternity as they were returning to the building.

“We discovered a number of offensive symbols and messages spray-painted on the SAE house,” said the president of Stanford’s SAE chapter.

The president did not want to be named so as to prevent association with “such hateful symbolism.”

“We have no reason to believe that this was targeted toward any particular student in SAE,” he said.

“I am deeply troubled by the act of vandalism, including symbols of hate, that has marred our campus,” University President John Hennessy said in a statement to The Daily. “The University will not tolerate hate crimes and this incident will be fully investigated, both by campus police and by the University under our Acts of Intolerance Protocol. This level of incivility has no place at Stanford.”

“I ask everyone in the University community to stand together against intolerance and hate, and to affirm our commitment to a campus community where discourse is civil, where we value differences and where every individual is respected,” Hennessy said.

Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS) spokesman Bill Larson said that the incident will be recorded as a hate crime. Larson said that the incident was under an active investigation and that the intent behind the incident was not yet known.

Liana Kadisha ’15, president of the Stanford Israel Association, said that Jewish student groups and their leaders are planning a response in the form of a pledge against anti-Semitism.

“It was very unfortunate to see anti-Semitism on Stanford’s campus,” said Kadisha, explaining that events like these are part of what she sees as a pattern.

“I don’t want to speculate to the cause of the vandalism, but after divestment, there has been a rise in hostility towards Jewish communities,” she added.

She also explained that many student groups have started refusing to co-sponsor events with the Stanford Israel Association.

Other members of the Jewish community have expressed concern over the incident.

“The Jewish community is organizing a university-wide gathering early this week to stand in solidarity against anti-Semitism,” said Joseph Shayani ’16, president of Jewish Student Association.

The incident comes three weeks after Molly Horwitz’s allegations against Stanford’s Students of Color Coalition, which sparked discussions on campus about what constitutes anti-Semitism. The vandalism also took place just after the conclusion of Admit Weekend.

SAE was recently under scrutiny from the University administration for violation of Title IX regulations. The fraternity’s housing privileges have been revoked for the next academic year – the house currently appears as “1047 Campus Drive” on the 2015-16 housing draw.

Additionally, a pentagram in the same color spray paint was also discovered on the back wall of Casa Italiana. Police are investigating the incident, according to residents of Casa.

University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin also said that graffiti was reported at BOB.

Caleb Smith contributed reporting to this article.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article misspelled Molly Horwitz’s name. The Daily regrets this error.

Contact Nitish Kulkarni at nitishk2 ‘at’


Nitish Kulkarni '16 is a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He writes about technology and breaking news, and runs online content sections. Email him at nitishk2 'at'

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