March 28, 2020

Swastikas Found at Massachusetts Wheaton College

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A couple of swastikas were discovered at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. in two weeks, WLNE reports.

Both swastikas were found drawn on whiteboards in the Pine Hall dormitory; the first one, discovered on Oct. 27, was on a whiteboard in the common area and the second one was found on a whiteboard in front of a dorm room on Nov. 7 that a Jewish student resides in.

Dennis Hanno, the college president, condemned the swastikas in a letter to community members.

“This runs counter to our values as an institution,” Hanno wrote. “The swastika is a symbol of anti-Semitism, white supremacy and genocide. It remains a threat to Jewish people, and an affront to every member of the Wheaton community.”

Hanno added that the college will be beefing up security at the residence hall and is working to determine the perpetrator or perpetrators behind the swastikas. He highlighted the various school resources students could use if they need support.

“Please remember that we are stronger together,” Hanno wrote. “The surest way to defeat hatred and intolerance is through our connections to each other and our support for each other’s rights and dignity.”

Anti-Defamation League New England Regional Director Robert Trestan said in a statement to the Journal, “We are disheartened to learn of swastikas found at Wheaton’s campus, and are particularly troubled by the targeting of a Jewish student with this heinous symbol of hate. We applaud Wheaton’s denunciation and investigation of this incident, and following up with support and [programming] for students. By doing so, the Wheaton community is sending a clear message that acts of hate will not be tolerated on its campus.”

The swastikas discovered at the Massachusetts Wheaton College are not only swastikas to be recently found at a Massachusetts college. On Oct. 24, eight swastikas were found on three buildings at Smith College in Northampton, Mass.

The Massachusetts Wheaton College is a private liberal arts college. It is not affiliated with the Wheaton College in Illinois.