March 28, 2020

Second Swastika Incident on Massachusetts College Campus Within a Month

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

On January 28, a swastika was discovered on Worcester State University’s campus. This is the second instance of a swastika on campus since December 2019.

The Telegram & Gazette reported a swastika drawn in a classroom on the third floor of the Learning Resource Center. University and state police are investigating.

“It is reprehensible that this happened on a day that Worcester State conducted programming on anti-Semitism related to bias incidents that occurred last semester, and a day after the 75th anniversary to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz,” Worcester State University President Barry Maloney said in a statement. “This behavior will not be tolerated on this campus nor by any member of the Worcester State community, as we will continue to educate our community on what is appropriate, respectful conduct for all people.”

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) New England Associate Regional Director Melissa Kraus said in a statement to the Journal, “I am disturbed and disheartened to learn of another swastika incident at Worcester State University on the very day I was welcomed to campus to speak about confronting recent anti-Semitic incidents.  I commend the university’s quick action in condemning this hateful act and its ongoing commitment to making Worcester State an inclusive campus for all.”

On December 6, multiple swastikas were found in the men’s bathroom on the third floor of the Learning Resource Center. ADL New England Senior Associate Regional Director Peggy Shukur told the Journal at the time, “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.”

Another Massachusetts campus that had a recent swastika incident was Emerson College, where four swastikas were found drawn on a stairwell in a student dormitory.

According to The Boston Globe, a bill mandating Holocaust education in Massachusetts currently is being considered by state legislature. However, supporters of the bill told the Globe that Education Committee Chair Rep. Alice Peisch is holding up the bill because she “is not in favor of mandates and doesn’t believe teaching about genocide will reduce hateful acts.”