SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: October 15, 2022

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Miami University

Region & Country:Americas | United States of America

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On October 15, 2022, three students vandalized a Sukkah – a temporary structure built for the celebration of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot – on Miami University’s campus. The Sukkah was located outside of the university’s Hillel, an on-campus Jewish organization.

In a video posted on the Miami University Hillel Facebook page, the students are seen scaling a fence to access the Sukkah, turning the structure on its side and running away. Following the publication of the video, the three students turned themselves into the police and were charged with vandalism.

In a statement, Miami University condemned the vandalism and affirmed its commitment to providing a safe on-campus environment.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the targeted, apparently bias-motivated, vandalism of the property of an on-campus organization. Attacks targeting the property of religious or other minorities undermine academic freedom and core university values including equitable access, and harms democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)