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Community Message

After today's collection, President Valerie Smith sent the following message to the Swarthmore community:

Dear Members of the Swarthmore Community,

At today’s Collection, I expressed my own and our community’s pain, grief, and outrage over the hateful incidents discovered over the past week. As you know, two swastikas were found on a bathroom wall in McCabe Library. This morning I learned that another swastika was found in the Crum Woods. We do not know how long this latter symbol has been in the Woods. Like the one in McCabe, this one was immediately removed. We are doing everything in our power to identify the perpetrators.  When they have been identified, they will be dealt with to the full extent of our powers at the College, and in the borough.  But that is only the beginning.

Already the leadership of the Black Cultural Center, Intercultural Center, Muslim Students’ Association, Interfaith Center, ​and members of the deans' staff have sent messages to the Jewish student groups on campus, expressing support and solidarity and offering to collaborate around educational programming. These messages acknowledge that when one among us is harmed, we are all harmed. If we are to become the inclusive, beloved community we aspire to be, we must confront directly the prejudices that exist within ourselves and are woven into the fabric of our society.​

If you feel the need for support during this time, please consider reaching out to:

I call on every member of our campus to join together in the days ahead to raise our voices in unison, sending a clear message that no expression of hate has a place anytime or anywhere on our campus or in the world.  I hope that we can draw inspiration from the words of Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor: “The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.”


Valerie Smith