JCRC Commends Hollins University for Reaction to Swastika Discovery

Diversity and Inclusivity

March 30, 2016

single-paper-background The rock
The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond is applauding Hollins students and administration for their response to the defacement of The Rock last weekend. Here is a statement from the organization, released March 29:



Contact: Daniel Fogel, Director of Jewish Community Relations, (804) 545-8626

RICHMOND, VA – The Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC) of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond (JCFR) commends the administration and student body of Hollins University for their actions following the discovery of a swastika painted on The Rock, a campus landmark.

JCRC Chair, Frances F. Goldman said, “The swastika represents the ultimate symbol of hatred and its discovery in any context is extremely disconcerting. In the context of increased anti-Semitism in the U.S. and abroad the discovery of a swastika on a Virginia campus was distressing to say the least. The response of the Hollins University to this threatening event has been stellar, for which I am grateful.”

Hollins University President Nancy Gray posted to Facebook, “I wanted to express to you my profound anger and sorrow over the swastika that was painted on The Rock.… This was a threatening act that has no place at Hollins…. We will not tolerate this or any other malicious behavior that damages our core commitments of civil discourse, social justice, and respect for others…. I invite you to attend a special event on Front Quad called “Love Not Hate.” … We will not be intimidated or discouraged by shameful acts such as this.” Gray also, very appropriately made available resources for anyone on campus who feels unsafe, threatened or harassed. She also noted the Hollins University Security Department was investigating; WSLS 10 reported that the Roanoke County Police Department is investigating the matter as a possible hate crime.

Hollins University Chaplain, Jenny Call, said, “We are defined by our love and support for one another.” Powerful statements were also issued by Trish Hammer, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Students Patty O’Toole. The Rock has been repainted, “Take Back The Rock,” and Hollins students spent the afternoon chalking messages of love, tolerance and acceptance in the area.