A student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who decided it would be a good idea to tape a bunch of swastikas and a trio of photos of Adolf Hitler on a Jewish student’s dorm room door has received an undisclosed punishment from school officials.
The unidentified student behind the prank meant it as a prank.
That student and the guy whose door it was lived on the same floor. Evidently, they had been involved in some sort of escalating prank war.
The incident happened back on Jan. 26 in Sellery Hall, a high-rise slab on the southeast side of campus, reports the Wisconsin State Journal.
The image of the door covered in Nazi imagery then showed up on Facebook on Wednesday, fueling the kind of Internet speculation that only a dorm room door festooned in swastikas and Hitler pics can generate.
Lori Berquam, UW-Madison’s dean of students, said her understanding of federal law prohibits the taxpayer-funded school from naming the culprit and also from acknowledging the exact punishment meted out.
Nevertheless, after the image went viral on Facebook, school officials sent a campus-wide email explaining what had happened and announcing an open meeting next week at which the topic will be anti-Semitism.
The email also encouraged students to report pranks to UW-Madison’s Bias Incident Team.
Immediately after the incident occurred, UW-Madison officials had informed only campus Jewish groups and students residing in Sellery Hall.
“When a bias incident occurs, our first priority is to respond immediately to the community most directly affected,” the campus-wide email offered as an excuse for the communication delay. “We communicate more broadly as appropriate based on the nature of the incident.”
The Jewish student who found the swastikas and Hitler photos on his door has spoken out on Facebook.
He called the stunt an “insensitive joke/prank gone wrong” and said the perpetrator was “not cognizant” of how offensive the prank would appear, according to Madison CBS affiliate WISC-TV.