It’s hard to imagine what possesses someone to do something so vile.

Kelly Halom of the Vanderbilt Hustler reports.

Administration, Hillel respond to swastika graffiti at AEPi

Early Saturday morning, two swastikas were spray-painted in the elevator of the Tau Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house, and another swastika was painted on a basement door, according to an e-mail from Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Wente.

Wente e-mailed the student body Monday afternoon to alert students to the incident and inform students that the Vanderbilt University Police Department, with the assistance from the Dean of Students Office, is currently investigating the hate crime.

“We understand the anguish and pain that this hateful symbol causes and we stand together to condemn any effort to intimidate or send an unwelcoming message to the Jewish members of the Vanderbilt community,” Wente said.

Shortly following Wente’s message, Dean of Students Mark Bandas sent an e-mail to students listing available resources for students troubled by the incident, including the staff of the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life, the Ben Schulman Center for Jewish Life, and Chabad at Vanderbilt.

Though the Tau Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi declined to comment, Executive Director of Vanderbilt Hillel Ari Dubin wrote in a statement to The Hustler that Hillel is outraged by the anti-Semitic act.

“Vanderbilt Hillel, Chabad, and the rest of the Jewish community on campus stands firmly with AEPi,” Dubin said. “While the swastikas were spray-painted at the AEPi house, this inexcusable incident impacts every Jew on campus, and has no place at Vanderbilt.”

Dubin said that there is nothing ambiguous about the incident.

“Spray painting swastikas at a Jewish fraternity is not a college prank or some mischievous act of vandalism,” said Dubin. “It is a malicious attack intended to bring to mind the horrors of the Holocaust, to force us to feel different, endangered and isolated.”

Dubin said that the Jewish community at Vanderbilt will stand united alongside campus partners and allies “to shine a bright light on this darkness.”