Severe weather damaged a Sukkah on the Kansas State University campus, but that didn’t stop K-State President Richard Myers from releasing a statement condemning hate.
Authorities began investigating damage to the Jewish religious symbol four days ago, and today, authorities determined wind was to blame. Waiting until the facts were in wasn’t an option for campus officials who denounced it as an act of anti-Semitism.
“I want to emphasize how deeply concerned the K-State family is about this incident,” university president Richard Myers wrote in a statement. “There is no place in our community for hateful, criminal reactions to religious expression.”
A student organization purchased and assembled the Sukkah on the lawn of the Goodnow residence halls in honor of an eight-day Jewish holiday, Sukkot.
Myers said in his statement that the structure was “shamefully vandalized.”
“Many who live or work on our campuses, particularly those of the Jewish community, are experiencing significant pain and fear as a result of this act,” Myers said in a statement following the wind blowing over a structure on campus.
The president’s immediate belief that the destruction was due to anti-Semites should be a cause of embarrassment and shame today. His statement served as a near slander of the university, its staff and students.
Coverage of the supposed vandalism hinted that a storm may have been to blame for the Sukkah’s destruction, but that possibility was quickly discounted.
The university hosted a Sukkot Solidarity dinner on Wednesday in response to the event.
“Our hearts go out to those in the K-State family who have been negatively affected,” Myers’ statement from earlier this week reads.
Had he waited until the facts were in to make a statement, there’s a chance Myers would have been branded an anti-Semite himself. By blowing hot air about an act that never occurred however, Myers tarnished the campus community by suggesting some of its members are racist, anti-Semites. They deserve an apology today.