Anti-Semitic and anti-Black vandalism found in the Biology/Physics building was reported to the University of Connecticut on Friday.
The vandalism, which includes a swastika on the wall of the men’s bathroom and an anti-Black racial slur found in the same facility, was reported through UConn’s InForm, Carl Lejuez, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs said in an email to administrators.
UConn Police are investigating this most recent incident according to the message from Lejuez.
“The graffiti has been removed after the police were able to document it,” Lejuez said. “At this time, the individual or individuals responsible have not been identified. Although it is likely the additional investigative leads will be limited, should the individuals responsible be identified, we will share that information.”
Matan Doron, sixth-semester biological sciences and individualized double major, said many people are unaware of the historical significance of the swastika and how it can affect the people it threatens.
“The UConn community has been, by-and-large, supportive of the Jewish community at UConn,” Doron said. “The swastika in the BPB building is not a representation of the larger UConn community. Going forward, UConn needs to continue to expand this environment to make sure that all students, regardless of identity or background, feel safe and celebrated on our campus.”
The administration must reestablish that it will not tolerate the vandalization of university property with symbols and slurs of hate, Doron said.
“I believe this is more a case of ignorance than malicious intent. Last semester’s events were targeted specifically at Jewish students and symbols, which is more concerning in my opinion,” Doron said. “I think the administration just has to reaffirm its commitment to celebrating and protecting the expression of UConn student cultures, identities and stories. Ultimately, we learn best when we understand and can relate to each other’s stories.”
Maureen Armstrong, Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Dean of Students Office, has reached out to the complainant of the referral to offer individual support.
“The Bias Incident Protocol is used to review and respond to reports and we are following that for the referral received late last week,” Armstrong said. “John Armstrong, the UConn liaison to the faith communities has reached out to the leaders of Hillel and Chabad to work to provide support as needed.”
Students can find a summary chart about this incident and all other bias incident referrals on the Dean of Students website. The chart is updated every three weeks: Bias Incident Summary | Dean of Students Office