Stanford University Probes Drawing Of Hitler, Swastikas Outside Jewish Student's Room

The act could constitute a hate crime, university officials said, given the identity of the student.
People walk on the Stanford University campus beneath Hoover Tower in Stanford, California, on March 14, 2019.
People walk on the Stanford University campus beneath Hoover Tower in Stanford, California, on March 14, 2019.
Ben Margot via Associated Press

Stanford University on Saturday said it has launched an investigation to find the perpetrator responsible for drawing an image of Adolf Hitler and swastikas on a whiteboard attached to an undergraduate student’s dorm room.

The university officials said the act could amount to a hate crime given the student whose room was targeted is Jewish, and the drawing could be interpreted as an effort to intimidate them.

“We wish to be clear: Stanford wholeheartedly rejects antisemitism, racism, hatred, and associated symbols, which are reprehensible and will not be tolerated,” the letter signed by four university officials reads.

The affected student told The Stanford Daily, the university’s student newspaper, that the incident left them rattled.

“It’s very unsettling thinking that I was in my room sleeping and someone was outside of my door doing this,” the student, whose name was not disclosed, said.

The incident is not the only hateful incident reported on campus this academic year.

A student reportedly found multiple swastikas, the n-word, and the letters “KKK” scratched onto the metal board of the wall in a men’s bathroom on campus last month, according to Stanford’s Protected Identity Harm Reporting website.

On March 3, a swastika with “KKK” spelled out around it was engraved into the wall of a men’s handicapped bathroom stall, the report states.

Both incidents were deemed hate crimes, but the university was unable to find who was behind them.

“Vandalizing property particularly with words intended to threaten and intimidate individuals (specifically in this case Black and Jewish communities) is contrary to Stanford’s values,” the report said. “It is absolutely unacceptable in our community.”

In November, an unknown individual removed an Israeli flag from a display of flags of countries from around the world.

“Targeting of people because of nationality or ancestry is form of discrimination,” the university said. “Though the flag was a symbolic representation of a country, Jewish students felt particularly targeted because of the historical connection to Israel.”

In September, the university said a mezuzah was taken off the door of two Jewish graduate students’ dorm room on campus on the last day of Rosh Hashanah.

The university apologized last year after a task force commissioned by Stanford found that the university limited admissions of Jewish students in the 1950s, and continued to deny that happened for many years later.

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