More than 250 Western Washington University students, faculty, staff and community members attended an event in the WWU Wilson Library Reading Room Tuesday to replace and re-shelve books in Western's Jewish Studies collection that were vandalized or destroyed last month.
“Whether campus is your home, or you live in Bellingham or beyond, we are all one community,” President Sabah Randhawa said at the event, according to westerntoday.com. “We are united in opposition against these acts of anti-Semitic vandalism, and against all such acts of hatred and bigotry.
"This kind of cowardly action perfectly illustrates the nature of hate and bigotry, because it flourishes in darkness and withers when exposed to the light of reason and intellectual scrutiny.”
German Professor Sandra Alfers, director of the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, said that more than 120 items have been added to the collection, and that some of them are not available in any other library in Washington state.
“Thanks to the support of many, our shelves in Wilson Library do not remain empty, and so we have replaced books that were destroyed and added traditional and new formats in written, oral and visual form to enhance our collection,” Alfers said, according to westerntoday.com.
Several books were damaged in the Jewish Studies section of the library on March 16, said WWU spokesman Paul Cocke, and some of the books were defaced with anti-Semitic language, while a swastika was drawn in ink or marker on a poster outside a faculty member's office in the Communications Building.
“We vigorously oppose acts of bigotry and hate against the Jewish community and against all minoritized and marginalized groups,” Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg told westerntoday.com.