Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house egged while hosting Chabad Shabbat dinner on March 25

VUPD is investigating an incident in which approximately 20 eggs were thrown at the house during the Chabad Shabbat dinner.

Remnants of broken eggs in front of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house

Ryan Bauman

Remnants of broken eggs in front of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house, as photographed on March 25 (Photo courtesy of Ryan Bauman).

Brina Ratangee, Staff Writer

On March 25 between approximately 9 and 11 p.m. CDT, Vanderbilt’s Sigma chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) International Fraternity’s house was egged while hosting a Vanderbilt Chabad Shabbat dinner, per sophomore Ryan Bauman, PIKE external vice president and Chabad executive board member. VUPD is investigating the incident and has identified potential suspects using video footage.

Bauman helped organize the March 25 dinner, which lasted from approximately 7-11 p.m. CDT. Around 30 students attended the dinner, which was hosted at the PIKE house as part of Chabad’s outreach dinner rotation program with fraternities and sororities every Friday, per Chabad President and senior Ester Teper. Bauman said that no eggshells were in sight when he went outside at around 9 p.m. CDT, but a dinner attendee noticed them at around 11:20 p.m. CDT. 

“I was surprised and disappointed that it happened,” sophomore and PIKE President Rohit Chaudhuri said. “I hope the school and VUPD can figure out more details about the incident.”

In messages to The Hustler, Teper said Chabad and PIKE reported the incident to VUPD and the Office of Greek Life (OGL) on March 26. As of print, Bauman said he has not received a response from these outlets. VUPD and OGL Director Kristin Torrey did not immediately reply to The Hustler’s requests for comments. Chabad Co-Directors Rabbi Shlomo Rothstein and Nechama Rothstein declined The Hustler’s request for comment at this time, saying they are waiting to hear about the results of the investigation.

Both Bauman and Teper cited the recent tension and alleged increase in antisemitism on campus as a potential motive for the egging. Bauman added that PIKE is the first fraternity to host a Chabad event after Rochman’s visit and that PIKE has a substantial number of Jewish members.

“Shabbat is one of the holiest days on the Hebrew calendar, a day of rest and joy,” Teper said. “The timing [of the egging] is too coincidental to not draw a correlation, especially given the recent turmoil on campus surrounding antisemitism and the invalidation of Jewish identity.” 

In a statement emailed to The Hustler, the university said no assumptions should be made about the motives behind the egging as the investigation is still ongoing. VUPD did not grant The Hustler’s request to view the camera footage of the incident.    

“At this point, it is unclear what motivated the incident,” the statement reads. “VUPD has identified persons of interest through video footage and is pursuing all leads, including information that a Shabbat meal marking the Jewish Sabbath had been held at the facility prior to the incident.” 

Per Chapter 8 of the 2021-22 Student Handbook, all incidences of student discrimination must be reported to the Equal Opportunity and Access Office (EOA), after which an investigation will be opened.

“Those who fail to meet these responsibilities [federal, state and local law and University policies] will be subject to corrective action through the University’s accountability process, and/or referral for prosecution by government authorities,” Chapter 3 of the Student Handbook reads.

Bauman referred to the incident as “disgusting” and “gross” and believes Vanderbilt administration needs to take action urgently. 

“Administration was a little too silent after the Rochman event. If [the egging] is found to be a hate crime, the university needs to wake up,” Bauman said. “Even if it was meant to be a funny prank—why? I just don’t understand.”

Teper similarly questioned the motives of the responsible parties.

“Why? What message does your behavior send to your peers, Vanderbilt administration, and the Jewish community around the world? What are you hoping to accomplish by demeaning our traditions, our spaces, and our holy time?” Teper said. “We are always open to conversation and would be overjoyed if you came to us directly. Join us at a Shabbat dinner, instead of egging the building where it takes place.”

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.