In an email to the Duke community the morning after a swastika was found on the East Campus bridge, President Vincent Price pledged extra security and a security camera to be installed at the bridge.
The swastika, which was painted on top of a mural students painted in October for the mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue, was found Sunday. It was the third swastika to come to light on campus this semester–one was found carved into a bathroom stall door in the Languages Building and another was carved into a pumpkin on East Campus.
"That such a craven and cowardly act of vandalism—a desecration of a memorial to individuals who were killed because they were Jewish and practicing their faith—should happen anywhere is extremely distressing," Price said. "That it should occur in such a visible, public location at Duke should be a matter of grave concern to us all."
The president went on to say that Duke will maintain extra security at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life and other areas of campus, and he said that a security camera would be installed at the East Campus bridge.
"To our Jewish students, faculty, staff and neighbors—and indeed every member of our university community—I pledge that Duke will do whatever we can to protect your safety. As an immediate response, we will continue to provide additional security at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life and other locations on campus," Price wrote. "In addition, we will be installing security cameras in the vicinity of the East Campus Bridge, which has unfortunately become a focus of attention for those who seek to promote hatred and intimidation."
Additionally, Price said that he will convene a meeting of leaders in the local community and campus to review the incident and advise the University on ways to confront anti-Semitism.
"This poison of hate is not confined to Duke. It is part of a national, even global, trend that has seen hate crimes in general, and anti-Semitism in particular, increase dramatically in the past year," he wrote. "And since this incident follows others on campus and in Durham, we have an urgent obligation to confront anti-Semitism and other forms of hate on campus and in Durham."