Leddy library officials removed three globes from the Curriculum Resource Centre on Jan. 11 after being notified that Israel had been scratch from their surfaces.
The chance of the vandalism being random is highly unlikely, as closer examination reveals the only altercation to all three spheres is the absence of the middle-eastern nation of Israel. The globes have been in this condition for at least the past three years despite student complaints, according to third-year law student Gavin Wolch.
Wolch, who is Jewish, said he noticed the problem a few years ago after seeing someone else’s complaint posted on the library’s question board.
“I looked at it and I added one. Nothing was done about it,” he said. “I saw (the globes) and it was frustrating, but it’s really hard to get angry at someone else’s ignorance.”
Head of information services Peter Zimmerman, who has worked at Leddy for the past 10 years said he has never come across a complaint about the globes. The library does keep complaint records but not going back far enough to verify Wolch’s claim, he said.
“I’ve checked recent complaints up until last semester and I haven’t found a record of a complaint in the nature of what has been raised. We don’t necessarily keep all old complaints,” said Zimmerman. “We are taking this very seriously, it’s a pretty upsetting incident and it’s certainly something we would have responded to. Some of [the globes] are from the ‘50s and that’s really disappointing, that’s an understatement, that’s really upsetting to us for that reason alone.”
Though the motives of the vandal(s) can’t be known for sure, with the tension between Israel and Palestine, and bigotry aimed towards Jewish people it could be viewed by many as an act of racism. “It seems like the obvious conclusion, I’d say it’s likely more politically motivated,” said Zimmerman.
“We’re on a very multicultural campus and the fact that that kind of blatant ignorance is there and in full view in the library is offensive,” said first-year political science student, Jenna Bontorin.
Regardless of when a complaint was filled, library staff are aware of the issue now and have taken the appropriate steps to resolve the issue, according to Zimmerman.
The globes may not make their way back to their home in the library, but Zimmerman ensures every avenue to repair or replace them will be explored.
Requests to photograph the defaced globes were denied by Leddy library officials.