March 28, 2020

Swastikas Found on Massachusetts College Campus

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Several swastikas were found on a bathroom door at Worcester State University in Massachusetts on Dec. 6, the city’s local newspaper, the Telegram & Gazette, reported.

Worcester Dean of Students and Chair Student Affairs Officer Julie A. Kazarian wrote in a Dec. 7 email to students that the swastikas have since been removed and an investigation is underway.

“Worcester State University does not condone offensive symbols, language or artifacts that disparage or otherwise target an individual, protected group or diverse segments of our population,” Kazarian wrote. “The University strives to create a welcoming, inclusive learning environment where all students, staff and faculty — regardless of background — can thrive.”

Anti-Defamation League Senior Associate Regional Director Peggy Shukur said in a statement to the Journal, “The swastika incident at Worcester State is not an isolated incident, nor is it unique to the university. It is a part of a bigger trend we are witnessing where swastikas regularly deface schools and college campuses across the region and the country.”

She added: “We commend the university for swiftly condemning the incident. We believe that ongoing conversations by the school community after a bias incident is an essential element in the fight against hate.”

Other recent instances of swastikas on Massachusetts college campuses include five swastikas found on the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Oct. 30 and eight found on Smith College on Oct. 24.