A poster on campus has been defaced by swastikas. The poster, advertising a talk by Yoav and Horit Herman Peled, was titled “the religionization of Israeli society”.
Inciting racial hatred, through the use of the swastika, is against the law.
The Student’s Union president, Annie Pickering said: “the Swastika’s have scared us as much as anyone else and we are working with students and the university to remove the signs and if possible work out who is behind this.”
“If anyone sees anymore disgusting signs on campus, please let us know as soon as possible so that they can be removed immediately. Students with concerns should contact one of the full-time officers for support, details can be found at our website.“
Andrea Cornwall, one of the DPVCs for Equalities and Diversity, stated in an email: “this sickening act is utterly abhorrent. Anti-semitic graffiti is a hate crime, and I’d like everyone to know that we’ve acted swiftly in referring the matter to the police.
“We’re deeply committed as a University to a zero tolerance approach to discrimination of any kind. I believe this to be the work of an isolated individual and I would like to reassure students that we’re doing all we can to ensure the campus remains a safe and inclusive place for us all to live, study and work in.”
Jsoc, the jewish society on campus, told The Badger: “we are upset and disturbed by this act of hate and hope that the perpetrators are found and dealt with accordingly. This is not acceptable behaviour.
“We would like to reassure Jewish students that we are committed to their safety and wellbeing on campus and will take whatever measures necessary to protect that.”
The Vice Chancellor, Adam Tickell, commented on the issue saying: “I want to assure everyone in our community that you are safe here. Whatever your race, religion, gender identity, sexuality or age, or if you have a disability – Sussex is your home and you will be protected from discrimination or abuse. We have taken immediate action in this particular instance and will not tolerate any acts which are illegal or incite hatred.”
A student, Ms Williams, spoke in disgust at the swastikas, stating: “I’m deeply saddened for the state of humanity if anyone thinks this is an acceptable thing to do. To those who say this is just “trolling” or a “joke” I say look to history, speak to our grandparents/great grandparents and find out what the message behind the swastika is. How can anyone be proud of that symbol?
“Obviously our campus is available to the public to walk into, but to think anyone of a university level education could defend nazi-Ism is quite frankly vile.”
The university was recently embroiled in a row over an event on how to “deal with right-wing attitudes in the classroom”, after a blog was posted in The Telegraph by a current Sussex student. Yet, this new incident comes only weeks after fascist themed stickers were found around campus. As with the swastikas, the police were also informed.
Students have been advised to report any such incidents to the university.