Stanford University is investigating a possible hate crime after swastikas and an image of Adolf Hitler were drawn on a blackboard outside a Jewish student’s dormitory, the third such incident in the past two weeks.
The student discovered the drawings on Friday, the university said. It was the latest of several reported acts of vandalism involving anti-Semitic symbols and language at Stanford this academic year, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole said in a declaration.
Brubaker-Cole condemned the incident, calling it a “blatant threat to an individual student” on campus.
“We want to be clear: Stanford wholeheartedly rejects anti-Semitism, racism, hate and associated symbols, which are reprehensible and will not be tolerated,” Brubaker-Cole said.
The university’s Department of Public Safety is investigating the incident, which prompted two reports from students in the dormitories. Because the images could have been used to intimidate the Jewish student, they are being investigated as a possible hate crime and those responsible could be subject to legal or disciplinary action, according to the university.
The student whose dormitory was attacked spoke to the the Stanford Daily, the university’s student newspaper, about vandalism.
“It’s really making this housing situation feel quite hostile to me,” said the student, who declined to be named for fear he would be harassed. “It’s very disturbing to think that I was sleeping in my room and someone was outside my door doing this.”
Students living in the dormitory, Florence Moore Hall, will meet Tuesday to discuss the impact on the community and what steps could be taken to address the consequences.
Authorities do not believe this incident is related to two hate crimes reported on February 28 and March 3, in which swastikas and hate language were etched on a metal panel and wall of two men’s restrooms.
Both incidents were classified as hate crimes under California’s penal code, though no suspects were identified, Stanford officials said.
“Vandalizing property, particularly with words intended to threaten and intimidate individuals (specifically in this case, the Black and Jewish communities) is contrary to Stanford’s values,” the university said in a statement. “It is absolutely unacceptable in our community.”