Another Swastika Found in UCD Dorm Hallway –
According to police, the swastika may have been carved into the bulletin board earlier but covered by fliers. As part of the investigation, the police department took crime scene photos and fingerprints and removed the bulletin board as evidence.
Fred Wood, vice chancellor for student affairs said:
“This sort of reprehensible behavior is an affront to all of us. We must collectively and absolutely be committed to abiding by our Principles of Community. We must be bold in addressing these and all other acts of hate and prejudice. “We must make our community more inclusive and welcoming. Everyone has the right to feel safe here.”
This is the fifth reported swastika on campus following a February sighting carved into the door of a Jewish student’s dorm room and four other spray painted attacks.
In an email to students, Andrew Wells, the Tercero Area Conduct Coordinator wrote:
“Over the weekend, a member of your community discovered that one of your hallmates’ corkboards had been vandalized with a swastika. Per our policies regarding hate crimes, the UCDavis Police were contacted – they came out, opened an investigation, and have removed the board for evidence. Given this past month’s spate of hate-related incidents around our campus and at our sister schools in Irvine and San Diego, we are reminded again of the importance of vigilance and awareness about what goes on in our communities. Furthermore, this is more proof of the need for continued action to address social injustice on our campus.”
“When we see examples of language that are connected to current or historical acts of violence or malice our sense of community and shared respect is damaged. It’s hard to feel welcome or safe in a campus community where our memory of history’s crimes and tragedies is triggered by events on our campus and our sister campuses even today. The swastika immediately triggers our memory of the Holocaust, the Shoah. In the Holocaust, the Nazis killed nearly 6 million Jews – over 75% of the European Jewish population of 7.8 million. Additionally, they killed gays and lesbians, Freemasons, Jehova’s Witnesses, Poles, people with disabilities…the total number of victims is estimated between 11 and 17 million. It is important for us all to remember history, for us to be educated about this…and for us to reject whatever values or beliefs that lead one to think that it is okay to bring this symbol of hatred into our homes, or workplace, or places of learning.
In the past weeks, we have seen racism. We have seen homophobia. We have seen Anti-Semitism. Now we need to see the responses.
We all need to work together to address the climate in our communities that accepted this behavior in the first place. We all need to work together to address the climate on our campus and demonstrate that each of us, as an individual, rejects hatred and bigotry in all its manifestations.
There is no justification or explanation for the decision to bring this hatred into our community.”
Students last week protested the recent slew of hate incidents UC-wide with a silent protest in which the demonstrators wore all black and symbolically taped their mouths.
In that demonstration, the students “demanded” a stronger response from campus authorities as there is apparently the belief that while the Chancellor has given these incidents lip-service and emails, there has been a lack of response.
“The chancellor respond to all of the recent racist and hate incidents that took place on our campus and the steps she is taking currently to prevent them in the future. We want to know how the chancellor will reassure us and that we will always remain safe on our campus. A simple email response, while appreciated is not a strong enough response to such acts of hate. In the future, we strongly recommend the first initiative action to come from our chancellor by taking pro-active steps to work with our community. Overall, we want the chancellor to have accountability and to speak against hate and keep transparency between the students, staff, faculty, and administration.”
Mohamed Buzayan, is a sophomore now at UC Davis, he told the California Aggie earlier this week that the “lack of swift disciplinary action by university officials for these and other acts may have prompted subsequent crimes.”
“They took notice to students at UC San Diego, and they’ve seen no disciplinary action and nobody got caught. So they knew they were going to get away with their crimes and so they went and started committing them.”
Last week the Vanguard spoke with Police Lt. Matt Carmichael.
He told the Vanguard that the incident at the LGBT could be categorized as a hate incident rather than a hate crime. However, he strongly believes that given the fact that hate crimes are specifically targeted, that this particular incident fits that definition.
Moreover, he said that the Jewish student who had the swastika carved into her dorm was a clear and blatant hate crime, even more striking to him was that it was in a dorm, so it could have possibly been another fellow dorm mate who did it, or even let the vandals come into the dorms late at night.
Lt. Carmichael indicated that while he cannot get into the specifics of an ongoing investigation, the police do have some leads.
In response to the incidents and vandalism, the police have stepped up their patrols and go out in plain clothing.
Meanwhile community members gathered last night for a vigil at the Hillel house offering solidarity for a community that has apparently been targeted by hate.
The Vanguard will have more on this story as it develops.
—David M. Greenwald reporting