On April 26th, around 1:30AM, the current President of SAE noticed swastikas defacing the SAE building. He promptly called the police and informed the university; there are ongoing investigations. “We have no reason to believe this was targeted toward any particular Jewish student in SAE”, the President of SAE said to The Stanford Review. “However, the members of SAE strongly condemn these actions.”
Stanford University President John Hennessy also gave the following statement to The Stanford Review:
I am deeply troubled by the act of vandalism, including symbols of hate, that has marred our campus. The university will not tolerate hate crimes and this incident will be fully investigated, both by campus police and by the university under our Acts of Intolerance Protocol. This level of incivility has no place at Stanford. I ask everyone in the university community to stand together against intolerance and hate, and to affirm our commitment to a campus community where discourse is civil, where we value differences, and where every individual is respected.
Similar Neo-Nazi graffiti incidents have occurred on many college campuses. UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Harvard, Yale, George Washington University — to name a few — have all had reported incidents of anti-semitic graffiti.
Last quarter, the ASSU Senate voted on a controversial resolution calling for Stanford to divest from certain companies operating in Israel. Recently, controversial questioning allegedly directed toward Molly Horwitz, an incoming ASSU Senator and Jewish student, has sparked allegations of anti-semitism as well. Similar interrogations that prompted accusations of antisemitism have occurred at UCLA.“I’m honestly in shock about what happened and am very concerned about how this will affect the Jewish community,” Horwitz told *The**Review*.Lisa Lapin, Assistant Vice President of University Communications, echoed Horwitz’ sentiments in an official response to *The Stanford Review*: “Stanford police are investigating whether this episode meets the definition of a hate crime. At a minimum, symbols of hate do not belong at the university and the university will investigate the circumstance under our Acts of Intolerance policy.” Lapin followed up within an hour saying that “police have confirmed it is a hate crime.”
The same night as the graffiti, SAE was at an off campus formal. Justin Stein ’16 has told The Stanford Review that he found his parked car’s back window destroyed that night around 12:45am. His car was parked between fraternity houses Kappa Sigma and Theta Delta Chi, on a pathway that is on the way to SAE. At this time, the Review does not know whether the incidents are related.In another development, pictures have surfaced of a pentagram painted on Casa Italiana near the kitchen entrance. The graffiti is also painted using gold spray paint. A resident of Casa Italiana has reported that the authorities were alerted around 7PM on Sunday, April 26th. A Casa staff member has confirmed this incident but refused to comment on the record. At this time, the *Review* does not know whether the incidents are related. A pentagram with devil decorations was found drawn on the window of Columbae. This was discovered at 11:16AM Monday morning, so the figure was likely drawn before then. There is no evidence, however, that these were made by the same perpetrators of the swastika incident. Nevertheless, this is the second time a pentagram has been drawn on campus. Despite the tendency to correlate divestment movements and anti-semitism, *The Review *would like to emphasize that we have no evidence or reason to believe any particular student group is responsible for this incident.
*The Review *strongly denounces these actions. We will work diligently toward investigating and uncovering the facts of the case.
If anyone has any other information about the incident, please contact us at [email protected].
Update 6: The story was updated at 7:30PM on April 27 to include information about graffiti discovered at Columbae.
Update 5: The story was updated at 5:43PM on April 27 to include new information about a smashed car window.
**Update 4: The story was updated at 9:55PM on April 26 to include the related incident at Casa Italiana. **
Update 3: The story was updated at 5:55PM on April 26 to include an official statement from Stanford University President John Hennessy.
Update 2: The story was updated at 5:44PM on April 26 to reflect another statement from Lisa Lapin noting that police have confirmed that the graffiti constitutes a hate crime.
Update 1: The story was updated at 5:35PM on April 26 to include an official statement from University Communications representative Lisa Lapin.