You are here: American University Campus Life Update on Possible Antisemitic Incident Investigation

American University

September 13, 2021

Dear AU Community,

Late last week, the university received reports of possible antisemitic graffiti in a bathroom stall near the lower-level classrooms in Anderson Hall. The university is taking all necessary steps to investigate this matter and get to the facts. There is no place in our community – or anywhere – for antisemitism or any form of hate and intolerance.

We encourage all members of the community to report bias incidents to the Office of Equity and Title IX so they can be properly investigated. Antisemitic acts continue to occur and cause pain, both within our community and around the world. American University is committed to addressing these challenges, and we will continue to support our Jewish community. We welcome our community to join us in focusing on efforts that create systemic change, promote healing, and help build a sense of belonging for all. Importantly, we can all educate ourselves about the dangerous rise in antisemitism and how we can confront bias. The Anti-Defamation League has helpful resources on its website, and on our campus, AU Hillel is available for any community members who need support.

Today, we want to provide additional information about the graffiti in the Anderson Hall Lower Level, which contains no residential rooms and is accessible by anyone. Immediately upon reports of the incident, AUPD began its investigation, and those efforts are ongoing. Any individuals found responsible will be subject to appropriate actions. If you have information about this incident, you can contact or send anonymous tips via the Rave Guardian Safety App. As a community, reporting bias situations immediately to the appropriate AU authorities helps us to investigate and respond quickly and effectively.

Confronting intolerance must remain a central commitment of our work and understanding the impact of individual actions on members of our community is paramount. In this case, we acknowledge the profound effect on our Jewish community members and are here to support them, including through university-wide policies. Currently, with the celebration of the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we are in a significant moment of time for our Jewish community members. We must strive to build a community that is safe and welcoming for all people and identities through university-wide priorities like Inclusive Excellence, but even more importantly, through everyday acts of acceptance, knowledge, understanding, and grace. As we continue coming back together this semester, please remember and practice these values which are so important to all of us.

Fanta Aw
Vice President of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence
American University