EAST LANSING, Mich. — The East Lansing Police Department is investigating vandalism at the MSU Hillel, the center for Jewish student life at Michigan State University.
The MSU Hillel posted on Facebook that two men trespassed and destroyed a Sukkah on the property on Charles Street on Saturday, Oct. 19, the last day of a Jewish holiday, around 1 a.m.
News 10 spoke to members of the Jewish organization who say that they feel shocked that this happened. We also talked to the executive director of the Hillel Center who said she believes they found the vandals just after one day of posting photos from their surveillance video.
"We got an amazing response. I mean it was shared over 80,000 times and we got three tips that were very promising, which we have now forwarded to the East Lansing Police Department," Cindy Hughey, director of Hillel said.
Students of the Hillel organization say this is a learning experience and hope that the organization becomes stronger because of it.
The East Lansing Police Department was not able to speak on camera Tuesday, but say this is still an "open and on going investigation." The department said the detective is following up on active leads and hopes to identify some suspects.
If you have any information, the East Lansing Police Department is asking the public to call 517-319-6884.
MSU President Samuel Stanley did release a letter regarding the incident, which can be ready down below:
Our community has been affected in the past several days by incidents causing concern and anger.
I, too, am concerned, because a safe, inclusive and respectful campus is my top priority. Hate has no home at Michigan State. We want every individual to feel welcomed, valued and heard.
Recently the greater campus community has experienced vandalism at MSU Hillel, our center for Jewish student life; the presence of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on campus last week for a presentation to a class; an instance of racial bias reported from Bryan Hall over the weekend; and a survey in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences that offended students.
Some of these actions may not have grown from negative intent or malice, but it’s important for us all to remember the difference between intent and impact. Regardless of intent, there is still an impact being felt across campus.
These situations have disrupted a sense of safety that should exist for everyone. Building inclusive communities is at the core of our values, and the impact of recent events cannot be underestimated.
I want to personally let you know the concerns of our campus community are being taken seriously. Investigations by both the MSU Police Department and our Office of Institutional Equity are taking place, and we are providing support to those who are affected. We will be responsive to these issues and will not ignore the effect they are having on our community. It is important to hold ourselves accountable for being respectful, culturally sensitive and informed.
Any member of the MSU community found responsible for a bias incident will face disciplinary action in accordance with university policies.
Tonight, the Black Student Alliance is hosting a community forum in collaboration with the Associated Students of MSU to discuss some of these issues and their impact. Having a forum for discussion and listening is important if we want to create change.
In the coming months, I will continue to work with students and others in the campus community as we undergo a strategic planning process, including an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. Your feedback will be critical to this plan moving forward.
I want all Spartans to reach their full potential, educationally and professionally. That starts with an inclusive, safe environment here at MSU. We all have purpose in being here, and we need to engage one another with dignity and respect.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.
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