Addressing an Act of Divisiveness in Our Community
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[This message was sent to Weitzman students, faculty, and staff on Thursday, September 14 at 1:27pm.]
Dear Weitzman Community,
It has come to my attention that students found a swastika painted on the wall of the spray booth in Meyerson Hall yesterday evening. Let me say unequivocally that this disgraceful, cowardly, antisemitic act is abhorrent and will not be tolerated at Weitzman or at Penn.
At Weitzman, we continue to work hard to create and nurture a community where every student, staff member, faculty member, alumni, and visitor feels welcomed and supported. Hateful actions that promote violence and divisiveness are antithetical to our values and to our commitment to ensure that the Weitzman School is a “safe space” for everyone. I am appalled by this behavior, and I offer my profound condolences to anyone hurt by this action. I also want to acknowledge your frustration and anger, and to express my heartfelt support – as well as my condemnation of antisemitism of any kind.
Please know that we have already contacted Penn Public Safety, which will be looking into this incident. If anyone is aware of who might be involved, I encourage you to contact Karl Wellman, Weitzman’s Director of Operations & Planning and the School’s Safety Officer, at Kwellman@design.upenn.edu, or Kayla Richards, Weitzman’s Associate Director of Student Support, at Kayr@design.upenn.edu with any information. Your report will be kept entirely confidential. Any student identified to have participated in this incident or involved in divisive actions that cause harm to our community in the future will face serious disciplinary measures.
Moving forward, I hope we can learn from this painful and hateful incident and redouble our commitment to building a more just and healthy community and world.
Dean and Paley Professor
Co-Executive Director, The Ian L. McHarg Center: Urbanism + Ecology