MADISON, Wis. — The UW-Madison campus recently woke up to multiple sidewalk chalkings around campus that targeted several Jewish student groups.
According to a joint statement from leaders with the Jewish Federation of Madison and the Wisconsin Jewish Conference, the sidewalk chalkings labeled Jewish student groups as "racist," "genocidal," and "having blood on their hands."
"This hateful speech scrawled anonymously under the cover of night falls outside the bounds of dialogue," the joint statement said Wednesday. "The demonization of the Jewish community, and specifically Jewish students and their Jewish organizations is a direct assault on Jewish identity. This is especially dangerous given the recent increase of antisemitic incidents both on the UW Madison campus, and across the nation.
UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin denounced the sidewalk chalkings last week.
"I’m tremendously disappointed to learn about antisemitic chalk messages on campus yesterday on our first day of classes," Mnookin tweeted Sept. 8. "It's critical that we be a place where we robustly engage in discussion about ideas, but it's equally critical that we refrain from targeting each other based on identity."
Vice Chancellor Lori Reesor and Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer LaVar J. Charleston also released a statement last week regarding the chalkings.
"These labels are antisemitic: they attribute broad actions or beliefs to Jewish student groups," the statement says in part. "To those Jewish students and others affected, we are sorry for the impact this had on your first day of class at UW. We truly strive to create a campus where every student feels they belong, and this kind of messaging harms that goal and aspiration."
UW-Madison experienced antisemitic incidents last March after a swastika was etched into a residence hall bathroom stall and other students reported being harassed.
Anyone experiencing or witnessing antisemitic incidents or any other hate on campus is urged to report it through UW-Madison.
You can read the full statement from the Jewish Federation of Madison and the Wisconsin Jewish Conference calling for an investigation below: