Kansas State University determined the damage to a Jewish structure on campus was the result of severe weather. However, University President Richard Myers called it a crime on Monday.
“There is no place in our community for hateful, criminal reactions to religious expression,” Myers said. “Many who live or work on our campuses, particularly those of the Jewish community, are experiencing significant pain and fear as a result of this act. Our hearts go out to those in the K-State family who have been negatively affected.”
President Myers said he had good intentions releasing his statement before the investigation concluded.
“For the right motivation, I think the university got a little ahead of ourselves,” he said.
President Richard Myers said he made the statement because he understood how hurt students were by the possibility the damage to the sukkah was an act of vandalism.
“As a university, you want to respond to the hurt,” President Myers said. “And recognize that, and talk about our principles and what we stand for.”
K-State junior Mike Devoe said he thinks President Myers made the best decision he could given the circumstances.
“Obviously, he’s got to draw the line somewhere for how long he has to wait before he’s absolutely sure that the problem is a problem and not just an accident,” Devoe said.
President Myers said he’ll take more time to learn all the facts before commenting on issues like this in the future.
“I think people have to be prepared though, that when we have a serious incident we have to take time to investigate it before we make some pronouncements,” he said.
President Myers also said some good came from the vandalism rumor.
Students gathered for a solidarity dinner on Wednesday to learn more about the Jewish faith and culture.