Temple University Reprimands Student for Anti-Semitic Tweet


An unnamed student tweeted Tuesday, “I’ll be damned if we lose to a bunch of Jewish frat kids #Heil.”

What started as an innocent intramural floor hockey playoff game between Temple University fraternities devolved into bad, anti-Semitic sportsmanship.

An unnamed student tweeted Tuesday, “I’ll be damned if we lose to a bunch of Jewish frat kids #Heil.”

The tweet was posted by a student representing another unnamed fraternity about an upcoming game against the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi).

The tweet was posted just before noon on Tuesday and was removed shortly afterward.

Within 24 hours, Temple addressed the incident by speaking directly to the student and the team captain, who each apologized to AEPi and the university, according to the Anti-Defamation League. They also provided support and resources to AEPi and both Temple Hillel and the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia.

Theresa A. Powell, Temple’s vice president for Student Affairs, released a statement Wednesday condemning “the use of offensive and derogatory language in the strongest terms. The university is actively engaged with all parties to facilitate understanding, dialogue and making amends.”

The tweeter-in-question’s hockey team was forced to forfeit the game.

The AEPi chapter tweeted Tuesday afternoon, “We thank all of those who are supporting us during this incident.”

ADL commended Temple’s swift response.

ADL was contacted about the tweet from both ADL’s national office and a direct call from Temple reporting the incident, according to Jeremy Bannett, assistant regional director of ADL.

“We worked closely with them on other anti-Semitic incidents in the past, and they wanted to address what they’ve done so far,” Bannett said. “It’s important that they felt comfortable enough to reach out to both Hillel and ADL to share that this incident happened in the first place, to collaborate on a response and ask for support if they needed it.

“ADL feels it is very important to commend universities for taking bias on incidents seriously,” he continued. “University administrations have a powerful voice, which they should use to speak out against anti-Semitism and hate in all forms. When campuses take strong action against bigotry, that should be recognized.”

Rabbi Howard Alpert, CEO of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, echoed the severity of the situation.

“Temple gave a clear message that anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic language or intimidation has no place at Temple University, and the university has zero tolerance,” he said. “I think the important point where the university was exemplary was that they recognized immediately the seriousness of even one private tweet that is anti-Semitic in nature, and they’re taking actions so both the student involved and others know that the university has no tolerance, and that Jewish students [should] feel protected.”

Contact: rkurland@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0737


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