Latest Hate Crime Attack Stuns UC Davis Community

Another Swastika Found in UCD Dorm Hallway –

swastika-march

The rash of hate related incidents continued on Sunday nigh as police received a report from a resident adviser in Kearney Hall about a 5 inch by 3 inch swastika cavered into a bulletin board.

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.

UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza told the UC Davis Newsservice that the police department is vigorously investigating this and other recent acts of hate on campus and will seek prosecution of those responsible to the full extent of the law, including penalty enhancements for hate crimes.

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.”

He continued:

“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

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

3 Comments

  1. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”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.”[/i]

    If I had to bet on it, I would bet that all the swastikas were the work of one vandal, that even though the swastika is obviously an anti-Semitic symbol, the vandal, likely a student, is more of an idiotic prankster than an anti-Semite. I think acts of vandalism need to be taken seriously, especially in the case where the girl’s door was marred. However, I don’t think any of this nonsense suggests that there is a rise of anti-Semitism or other forms of vile prejudice on campus. Rather, I suspect that because these incidents get so much attention and draw such a wild-eyed response, the idiots who do these sorts of things are motivated to do more. If they drew no more attention than the gang symbols which are spray-painted on park benches every day in Davis and then painted over, the vandal (or vandals) would stop. They just love the attention and excitement they can generate.

    [i]”In the Holocaust, the Nazis killed nearly 6 million Jews – over 75% of the European Jewish population of 7.8 million.”[/i]

    This figure is incorrect. The 7.8 million is not the estimated number of European Jews. That is the total number of Jews in lands occupied by the Nazis. There were around 12 million European Jews in the late 1930s and about half of them were murdered, including 2 sisters and 1 brother of my maternal grandfather in Poland, a number of cousins of my maternal grandmother in Romania, and a number of more distant relatives on my father’s side in Germany, Poland and Lithuania.

    All that said, one idiot scratching a swastika into a bulletin board and a few other places in order to get a rise out of the university community should not drive university officials to recall holocaust statistics. It’s overly dramatic and misplaced. It is not as if there is an actual Nazi group on campus doing physical harm to Jewish students or others.

  2. David M. Greenwald

    “If I had to bet on it, I would bet that all the swastikas were the work of one vandal, that even though the swastika is obviously an anti-Semitic symbol, the vandal, likely a student, is more of an idiotic prankster than an anti-Semite.”

    I think at least three people did it. The one on the girl’s dorm required special access, the spray painted ones, and then this one are probably by different people, the spray painted ones clearly copy-cat crimes. The other two, I would consider more serious.

  3. Alphonso

    Most of these incidents seem to be based on an effort to embarass the University – too many schools are involved and therefore many people are involved. The symbol in the picture above is a left facing swastica (not the Nazi version) – it is obvious some of the people doing this are clueless.

    “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.”

    The did “catch” the person responsible for the noose at UCSD, but I have not heard of any follow up action.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for