Temple to meet about assault The alleged incident on Feb. 15 included anti-Semitic words. A town hall is tonight.

Posted: February 28, 2008

A town-hall meeting to discuss a Feb. 15 assault on two men at Temple University, which included anti-Semitic language, will be held at Temple Hillel, 2014 No. Broad St., at 8 tonight.

Four Temple students were suspended after allegedly making the remark and punching one of the victims, who suffered a broken nose and a broken orbital bone in his face.

Temple spokesman Raymond Betzner said warrants have been issued charging the suspects with ethnic intimidation, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, terroristic threats, simple assault and conspiracy.

Philadelphia police said no arrests have been made. They said it was police policy not to release names until there were arrests. They described the suspects as white males aged 19 to 22.

Rabbi Howard Alpert, executive director of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, said the meeting will address student's concerns and allow them to get accurate information about the attack.

"As you can imagine, an incident like this can make people feel insecure," he said.

Students will be able to talk about how the assault affected them and what they need from the university to feel secure, he said.

Alpert said Temple takes such incidents very seriously. The school is sending two administrators - Theresa Powell, vice president for student affairs, and Ainsley Carry, assistant vice president for student affairs - to the meeting.

President Ann Weaver Hart, in an e-mail last week to the university community, said, "Hate crimes will not be tolerated by Temple University."

Hart is committed to developing programs for students and the broader community that address issues of tolerance and civility on campus, spokesman Betzner said.

"We want to see the reaction we get from students and find out what questions they have, what concerns they have and give them a venue where they can talk about that," he said.

As Temple transforms itself from a commuter into a residential campus, Alpert said, it needs to think about how it can be a destination campus for all students.

During the incident, two men, neither one a Temple student, were assaulted after they left a restaurant and were standing outside the former North Broad Street house of Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity on campus.

Contact staff writer Kathy Boccella at 610-313-8123 or kboccella@phillynews.com.

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