UC Davis Officials Investigating Incident as Hate Crime


Limited details are available at present in an incident that happened on Sunday morning on the UC Davis campus.  Officials are describing it as “a series of crimes that range from vandalism to breaking and entering.”

“To date, we are aware of seven campus facilities and several parked cars that were damaged, including 31 broken windows,” Chancellor Linda Katehi wrote in a letter to the “Campus Community.”  She noted, “In the course of these acts, a hateful racial slur was written on a blackboard.”

The chancellor informed the public that UC Davis Police are fully investigating all incidents and “ask for your assistance in either reporting information you may have about these horrible incidents or to report any damage that might have been sustained that may not yet have been discovered.”

“I am incensed and at the same time, heartbroken, that this occurred this week in particular – a week where we acknowledge one of the greatest moments in American Civil Rights History; a week where President Obama will stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and acknowledge the place and the moment where America marched for freedom,” she said.  “UC Davis is guided by Our Principles of Community where ‘we reject all manifestations of discrimination and affirm the inherent dignity in all of us.’ It has been said before, and I again repeat, no act of hate will be tolerated at UC Davis.”

She added, “Your safety is our greatest concern and the Offices of Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Hexter and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs de la Torre will provide additional information as it becomes available and they will also be ready to respond to your concerns or questions.”

It has been more than three years since students protested after a Swastika was carved into a Jewish student’s dormitory room at Tercero, and after a spray-painted attack on the LGBT Center.

In 2010, Chancellor Katehi sent out a letter to faculty and students calling the recent acts of intolerance “reprehensible” and “inexcusable.”

She wrote, “Many of you are already aware of a series of distressing acts that have taken place on our campus and throughout the UC system in recent weeks, behavior that in at least one instance is likely criminal and in all cases reprehensible, inexcusable and an affront to our own campus’s Principles of Community.”

She added, “Earlier this week, UC Davis campus police reported that one of our Jewish students found a swastika carved into the door of her residence hall room, an act of thoughtless vandalism that is being investigated as a hate crime.”

“The entrance to the LGBTRC was defaced with derogatory and hateful words that target the Queer community,” a letter sent out in 2010 by the LGBT resource center staff.  “This vicious hate crime demonstrates the need for community centers like ours to exist in order to offer a safe space on campus and combat the homophobia, discrimination, and hate that is still prevalent within our society.”

UC officials told the Vanguard that the Sunday morning incident is being treated as a hate crime, but they would not elaborate beyond the content of Ms. Katehi’s letter.

—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.

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11 thoughts on “UC Davis Officials Investigating Incident as Hate Crime”

  1. brianriley429

    Word is being passed around, informally among admin, that this recent incident was committed by high-school-aged students. I’m guessing that there are a few security cameras located around the campus (on top the emergency outdoor calling stations maybe) and this is how UCDPD knows.

  2. Growth Izzue

    [quote]We should at least be told which group the “hateful racial slur” was directed at. We need to know what views are out there in the community. [/quote]

    Do you mean what prank a few high school kids pulled?

  3. Growth Izzue

    One thing I think you can bank on, whatever was written on the chalkboard David and a small faction of the community will blow it all way out of proportion.

  4. Don Shor

    [quote]seven campus facilities and several parked cars that were damaged, including 31 broken windows[/quote]
    Interesting use of the word ‘prank’. Rampant vandalism with hate speech as well.

  5. Davis Progressive

    31 broken windows seems to go way beyond prank. but it we can feel free to diminish that.

    my only question is why not say what the chalkboard message was – even in a censored manner.

  6. brianriley429

    It’s a typical police tactic to withhold key information to be able to better track down the perpetrators. I’m not sure that tactic makes sense in this instance, but that’s a difficult habit to change, on the part of the police.

  7. medwoman


    A “prank” is placing the school’s mascot on the top of the highest building, changing the arrangement of letters on a school sign in an entertaining manner, or my son’s occasional visitations to his high school campus dressed in a full panda costume. It is not extensive property damage coupled with derogatory terms clearly offensive to a given group. I hope that very few in our community will view this as a “boys will be boys prank”.

  8. jimt

    Let’s hope they are caught–sounds like a lot of monetary damage, which they should be required to repay in full, plus an additional fine; plus some community service which would include grafitti removal.

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