Updates on University of North Dakota campus antisemitic graffiti case: The student accused of writing the graffiti has pleaded not guilty. One of the students has released a scathing letter critical of the University President – see below. I have been following the case from a distance – please chime in below in comments if you have more details to fill in the picture.
Dear President Kupchella,
My name is Martin Rottler and I was one of the students that you met with a few weeks ago regarding the hate crimes that have occurred at UND. I wanted to take a moment to share with you my feelings with regard to how you as an administrator and as President of the University have handled this situation.
No matter what or where your “strategic priorities” lie, the number one stakeholders in a university are the students, all of whom make a significant investment and commitment during their tenure in studies. It is the responsibility of the administration of a university to ensure that the needs of its stakeholders are met in an effective and proactive manner.
Over the past month, the administration of the University of North Dakota, particularly yourself, have failed me as a student and have failed in your primary responsibility of protecting and serving the best interests of the students and faculty of UND. As an administrator, I trust in you to ensure that this protection and action is in my best interest as a student. You have violated that trust.
I went into the meeting in your office hoping that you would be a proactive leader in righting the wrongs that have occurred up to that point in dealing with Mr. Lebovitz’s situation and the general intolerance present on our campus. I was aghast and disgusted in the meeting when you a) denied that what was clearly a swastika was not and b) denied the fact that these acts toward Scott and other Jewish students on campus were, in fact hate crimes. As someone who should take primary interest in these concerns, it was clear that we were not being listened to.
What was worse, even more disgusting, and a further failure on your part were your actions after the meeting. I was disgusted to find outright lies in your statements to Joe Marks in the Herald. Our meeting lasted 45 minutes, not an hour and a half as you said. I clearly showed you photos of a swastika and the words “SCOTT IS A JEW” using my laptop computer. When asked to clarify, you refused to answer. In the paper, you lied and said that you were never showed photos of these