RACE, RELIGION + SOCIAL JUSTICE

Swastika scratched into table at Weber State, found on Yom Kippur

Sep 27, 2023, 3:49 PM

A solar panel at the entrance to the Shepherd Union Building at Weber State University is pictured....

FILE: A solar panel at the entrance to the Shepherd Union Building at Weber State University. School officials say a swastika was found scratched into a table at the Shepherd Union on Monday. It has been removed. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

OGDEN, Utah — Officials from Weber State University say they have removed a table from the Shepherd Union Building after a it was found with a swastika carved into the surface.

In a statement sent to KSL, the school said the swastika came to their attention late Monday night, the evening of Yom Kippur, one of Judaism’s most important religious days.

They informed students, faculty, and staff on Tuesday. The school said they also informed the WSU Police Department. 

“We’re especially sensitive to the fact that this symbol was discovered on Yom Kippur, a holy day for people who practice Judaism,” said Adrienne Andrews, the vice president for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Jessica Oyler, vice president for Student Access and Success.

“The swastika symbol is historically associated with Nazi Germany and anti-semitism and has been used by white supremacy groups in more recent years. It is widely viewed as a symbol of hate and intolerance,” Andrews and Oyler said.

A vandalism report has been filed, and an investigation launched, the school said.

Swastika at WSU was reported by a student

The school learned about the swastika after a student reported it via email. At that time, the student had notified both the Shepherd Union as well as the Student Access and Success leadership team.

Officials said the table was “promptly removed” on Tuesday morning, Sept. 26. The school also said that other tables were checked in Shepherd Union and that no additional vandalism was found.

By Wednesday afternoon, it was unclear when the vandalism occurred and a perpetrator had not been identified. Surveillance footage from the area is being reviewed, and the school said regular patrols of the Union have begun.

“Weber State University condemns actions that perpetuate racism or make people feel unsafe, and the symbol scrawled on WSU property is not consistent with the values of the university, which strives to create an inclusive environment where all are welcome,” Andrews and Oyler said.

“We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all of our campus locations.” 

If you have information about the incident, please call Weber State Police at 801-626-6460.

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Swastika scratched into table at Weber State, found on Yom Kippur