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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Swastikas Found at Columbia

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Multiple swastikas were found on the walls of a residential center at Columbia University on Feb. 14.

The student-run Columbia Daily Spectator reported that the swastikas were found on the 16th floor of the East Campus Residential Center, which is also where the name tags of two Chinese students were burned a few weeks earlier.

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Associate Dean of Undergraduate Student Life and Executive Director of Residential Life Tara Hanna wrote in an email later in the day to students residing in East Campus that the swastikas have been removed.

“This anti-Semitic symbol is in direct conflict with the University’s core value of inclusivity and has no place in our community,” Hanna wrote. “We stand strongly against anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred.”

Hanna encouraged anyone with information about the vandalism to contact their resident advisor.

Anti-Defamation League New York/New Jersey tweeted, “We are concerned by reports of anti-Semitic and anti-Asian incidents at @Columbia and are in contact with our partners on campus. We have to work together to make sure Columbia University is #NoPlaceForHate.”

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Columbia’s Students Supporting Israel (SSI) chapter said in a statement to the Algemeiner that they appreciated the university taking swift action on the matter, but they “hope that this case is not going to be swept under the rug like the anti-Semitic incident in Columbia’s Teachers College.”

“The Teachers College incident is a reference to Columbia Holocaust scholar and Psychology Professor Elizabeth Midlarsky finding swastika graffiti spray-painted on the walls of her office in November 2018.

“I’m usually not a fearful person, but they got me,” Midlarsky told The Washington Post at the time. “I’m afraid.”

SSI Columbia wrote on their Facebook page at the time, “We fear this will be swept under the rug like countless other complaints. We can only look to ourselves to make sure this climate doesn’t snowball into the complete antithesis of the values Columbia was founded on.”

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