Watchdog groups urge action from Loftin following graffiti
COLUMBIA - An ongoing investigation involving antisemitic graffiti found in an MU resident hall has gained national attention. The graffiti was first found on April 9 and, after being removed by staff, appeared again the next day. The graffiti contained swastikas and racial slurs.
MU did not make an official statement on the incidents until April 14. Jewish students said in a report earlier this week they felt threatened by the symbols.
A group of 16 organizations sent a letter to Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin on Thursday criticizing the chancellor for his slow response. The letter states, " We are concerned that several days had gone by before you spoke out publicy on the matter, causing some Jewish students to feel marginalized and ignored."
Jared Kauffman, president of Students Supporting Israel, said he felt the letter was right in its assessment of the response. "I do think that it was not punctual, and that it should have been released earlier and more quickly to when the incident actually happened, because that left us with five days wondering if the administration even cared," Kauffman said.
Chancellor Loftin released a response to the letter Thursday afternoon. "The MU Police Department is actively investigating the incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti that you reference. At their request, I delayed making a statement so that my remarks would not compromise the investigation," Loftin said in the release.
"As I have said many times and in many contexts, the safety and security of all University of Missouri students is our top priority," Loftin said.
MUPD is actively investigating the issue.