Latest: Fraternity reacts to student arrest for anti-semitic incident
COLUMBIA - Two MU students have been arrested for harassing another student with anti-Semitic comments.
The MU Police Department said Noah Rogers and Erich Eastman have been arrested for harassing the student, verbally and in written communication. The MUPD responded to the incident at McDavid Hall after the student who was harassed called to report the incident.
Boone County Assistant Prosecutors Jessica Caldera and Meghan Woolery said no charges have been filed against the two students and the case is still being reviewed.
Criminal charges are not the only penalty the students may face. MU's Interim Chancellor Hank Foley released a statement about the incident and said, "... the students could face disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the university."
In the statement, Foley called the incident "abhorrent and antithetical" to core MU values and said the behavior won't be tolerated.
"Please know we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that Mizzou is a welcoming and safe campus," Foley said.
MU student Lauren Ashenfarb is president of the Jewish Student Organization and works at Mizzou Hillel, the Jewish Campus Center at MU. She said the student group was sad to see something like this happen on its own campus and thankful the school quickly intervened. But she said some member of the student group worry it's not an isolated occurrence.
"Different Jewish centers across the United States have been getting bomb threats, and callers, and tombstones have been knocked down at Jewish cemeteries," Ashenfarb said. "So, we've definitely been on alert."
Zeta Beta Tau said the student, who was a target of the harassment, is a member of ZBT's local fraternity. The organization spoke out about the incident in a statement it released Wednesday.
The statement reads:
"Zeta Beta Tau is shocked and saddened to hear about the incident Monday at the University of Missouri where one of our brothers was the victim of a hate crime... We expect the perpetrators will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law and will learn a strong lesson of human dignity."
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the most recent information].
See the full statements from Zeta Beta Tau, Mizzou Hillel and MU's Chancellor Hank Foley below.
Zeta Beta Tau's statement:
Mizzou Hillel's statement:
MU's Chancellor Hank Foley:
"Dear Campus Community,
Yesterday, MU police officers arrested two students for harassing one of our community members with anti-Semitic messages. This behavior is abhorrent and antithetical to our core value of respect. It simply will not be tolerated.
Thanks to quick work by our campus police department, the criminal case is now in the hands of the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office and information is being shared with the university’s Office for Civil Rights and Title IX, where the students could face disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the university.
Please know we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that Mizzou is a welcoming and safe campus. We look forward to continuing to build on the foundation of diversity and inclusion we have established. Our values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence continue to guide us as we work to make Mizzou a place where everyone feels welcome to live, study, work and learn."
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