Queen's must act to expel hate


As The Journal reported last week, antisemitic graffiti was discovered in the new Albert Street residence building earlier this month.

Unfortunately, hateful displays on campus aren’t uncommon. The Chown Hall incident and Four Directions vandalism are still fresh in the minds of students and faculty. Not even the pandemic kept hate from infiltrating our learning environment via Zoom bombings in 2021.

This recent instance of antisemitism must not go unpunished like the hateful acts that have preceded it.

When it comes to these types of events, the University has consistently focused more on the optics than the impact. The administration released a statement on the incident on Oct. 26, five days after it occurred. 

A statement is insufficient now, as it has been in the past. It’s sad that despite regular displays of racist hatred on campus, Queen’s has yet to learn how to properly respond. Their apathy shows how out of touch and far removed from student life the administration really is.

Hateful events like this don’t happen in a vacuum—what’s happening in pop culture and the world is always relevant. With, for example, Kanye West’s recent antisemitic rants sparking further hateful displays, it’s hard to ignore the potential connection.

We need better Holocaust education, especially considering how conspiracy theorists who deny the Holocaust happened have more access to impressionable minds than ever via the internet. However, regardless of what’s happening outside, we can’t allow hate to continue going unchecked in our school community.

Jewish students living in Albert Street Residence now know they’re living among people who don’t respect them as people. This is not something Queen’s should be willing to accept; the University’s position must be made clear through actions, not empty statements.

There’s no overstating how important it is to feel comfortable where you live, and the University has a direct responsibility to residence students when it comes to their comfort. For most of the first-year class, residence is home—a home now less safe for Jewish students.

As students, we must hold our peers accountable and urge the Queen’s administration to act.

Racist and antisemitic displays keep popping up because bigots feel welcome at our school. Queen’s has repeatedly fumbled when it comes to finding—let alone disciplining—perpetrators, consistently acting as a business-first, people-second institution.

Queen’s happily funds extensive excessive police presence at Homecoming, yet apparently won’t devote resources to thoroughly investigate hate crimes. The administration will invest in the academic integrity of the institution because it translates to prestige which brings in money, all while neglecting what’s really important.

Antisemitic acts like what occurred in residence merit expulsion.

The only way to purge our campus of hate is to meet it with harsh consequences. Queen’s claims it’s anti-racist, but until the University is willing to sacrifice tuition dollars to remove people who don’t align with its values, that claim is empty.

Dear Queen’s: your students are waiting for decisive action against hate.

Journal Editorial Board


A previous version of this article stated the University had yet to make a statement on the incident. It has been corrected to reflect the statement issued on Oct. 26 by Principal Patrick Deane.

The Journal regrets the error.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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