Graffitied images of swastikas were found on the bike path across the street from the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house this past Saturday night.
Aerospace engineering sophomore and Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) chapter president Jake Marguiles said he does not believe the graffiti on California Boulevard was a threat to the Jewish fraternity.
“I don’t think it’s some sort of attack on AEPi necessarily,” Marguiles said. “It’s just antisemitism that we don’t want in our community.”
The graffiti also included satanic images and the greek letters for Delta Sigma Phi (DSP), though Marguiles said he doubts Delta Sigma Phi brothers were connected to the vandalism.
“I personally don’t think it was a Cal Poly student,” he said. “Because it says DSP out there, it worries me that this might be something that could sabotage greek life. And that’s probably what it was, in a way — just a really lame attempt at doing that. I don’t think it can really be called an attack on AEPi specifically just by the way it looks out there and its spot on the ground and how far it is away from the house.”
DSP President and business administration senior Derek Morefield said there is “no bad blood” between DSP and AEPi.
“There would be no reason for any of us to do something like that, let alone tag our letters on it,” Morefield said. “It’d be a pretty stupid move to do something like that.”
DSP’s fraternity house was also vandalized this past weekend either late Thursday night or early Friday morning. Morefield said the words painted on the house were illegible.
“I’m disgusted,” he said. “There’s no place on Cal Poly’s campus for graffitying anything.”
DSP submitted a report of the vandalism on their house to the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD), and an investigation is ongoing. SLOPD has not yet received a report of the vandalism across from the AEPi house.
Marguiles contrasted the crime with an attack on UC Davis’ chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, in which vandals defaced the fraternity house with painted swastikas. Marguiles said that while the incident at UC Davis carried an obvious and direct message; last night’s vandalism in San Luis Obispo did not.
“Probably, some kids just looked up and said, ‘Oh look, there’s an Israeli flag, let’s just put down a swastika because what else are we going to put down?’” Marguiles said.
He said Cal Poly’s chapter of AEPi has not had problems with antisemitic vandalism in the past.
“Really, over the past few years we’ve realized how lucky we are in SLO, in a place that’s not overly political,” Marguiles said. “We let each other be, let each other do what we want to do. We feel lucky in that respect.”
Marguiles and other members of AEPi used cleaning solution to remove the swastikas and other graffiti at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Update 5:44 p.m. Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey said in an email to Mustang News that Student Affairs will convene its Bias Response Team, which will review the situation and recommend a protocol in response.
Correction: A previous version of this article referred to AEPi president Jake Marguiles as Jake Marguilles.