Request for Assistance to Identify Responsible Person(s)

December 02, 2023

Dear students, faculty, and staff, 

Early this morning, Campus Safety received a report of graffiti portraying a star of David on a pillar between Clark and Dibble Halls on the Mac Field side of the building. 

We do not know the intent of this act.  Someone may have intended to signal support for Israel or Jewish students on campus.  However, the impact of this action has been harmful in its associations with an antisemitic act: for centuries and during the Holocaust, antisemitic governments and civil authorities required people of Jewish descent to display the star of David on their residences, businesses, and on their persons as a method of coercion and control.  Its forced use as an identifying mark has historically made Jews the target of libel, harassment, and violence. 

During this time, when some students, faculty, and staff feel that their identity could make them a target, graffiti that involves important symbols can have a powerful impact on wellbeing.  As President Harris has noted in campus messages and meetings with students, staff, and faculty, every action and interaction with each other is significant for its impact. We condemn the harm that this vandalism and its associated antisemitism have caused, as well as any actions targeting identity. Grinnell will continue to educate against antisemitism and every form of discrimination or harassment.     

The symbol has been removed. Campus safety is working to identify the individual(s) responsible for the vandalism and will carry out extra patrols throughout campus. The College and law enforcement authorities continue to investigate an anonymous YikYak post made in early October calling for violence against Jews and Israel. We ask that anyone with information about either incident notify campus safety at (641) 269-4600, or the Grinnell Police Department at (641) 236-2670. Any member of the Grinnell campus community found responsible for threats or vandalism will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary process. 

We appreciate the individuals who reported this incident and want to remind the community to report any Bias Incident to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As a reminder, Grinnell offers a robust set of support resources and we encourage you to take advantage of them as needed. 

Please do not hesitate to contact VP Marc Reed or AVP Ben Newhouse with concerns at or  


Anne F. Harris                                                                                            

Marc Reed
Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion
and Chief Diversity Officer 

Ben Newhouse
Assoc. Vice President of Student
Affairs and Dean of Students

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