Four tiles with swastika symbols on the University of Montana campus, put in place on the side of Corbin Hall in the 1920s along with a handful of other symbols, will remain on the building.
The decision comes after years of vigorous conversation, debate and meetings with local Jewish leaders, student leaders, faculty and the Montana Human Rights Network.
“These tiles were constructed more than a decade before the symbol was co-opted by the Nazis,” explained Dave Kuntz, UM’s director of strategic communications. “There was a big push on campus about five years ago to remove the tiles, and it had some traction. But in the years since, a multi-year effort took root to use this as a teaching moment for the university. So going forward, the university will use the tiles to promote ongoing dialogue and educational opportunities that enhance a campus climate of inclusion.”
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Kelly Webster, left, chief of staff and associate vice president for strategic planning and implementation, shines a light for Laurie Franklin, rabbi emerita of Congregation Har Shalom, as Franklin