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Stanford University investigates swastikas and Hitler image left on student's door

People walk on the Stanford University campus beneath Hoover Tower in Stanford, Calif., on March 14, 2019. Stanford University says it is investigating after multiple swastikas and an image of Adolf Hitler were found on a door Saturday at a Stanford student residence hall.
Ben Margot
/
AP
People walk on the Stanford University campus beneath Hoover Tower in Stanford, Calif., on March 14, 2019. Stanford University says it is investigating after multiple swastikas and an image of Adolf Hitler were found on a door Saturday at a Stanford student residence hall.

Stanford University officials say an investigation is underway after multiple swastikas and an image of Adolf Hitler were found on a student's door last week.

In a letter sent to students Saturday, school officials said the images were discovered on a whiteboard attached to a student's door in one of its residence halls. The student residing in the room identifies as Jewish — as the university officials said the symbols may have been meant to intimidate the student, according to the letter.

School officials said its campus safety department is investigating the incident as a hate crime.

"We wish to be clear: Stanford wholeheartedly rejects antisemitism, racism, hatred, and associated symbols, which are reprehensible and will not be tolerated," university officials said in the letter.

As of Sunday evening, the university has not determined who was responsible for the incident.

News of this instance of antisemitism is one of several hate incidents reported on Stanford's campus this academic year.

Earlier this month, another student reported a swastika with the words "KKK" surrounding it carved into the wall of a men's disabled restroom stall. The vandalized damage was reported to the school's building manager and was eventually painted over, according to officials.

In February, a student discovered hateful language and symbols scratched into a metal panel on a bathroom wall in a men's bathroom on the campus' Main Quad. University officials said this vandalism was in the form of multiple swastikas, the n-word, and the letters "KKK". Both incidents were classified as hate crimes, officials said.

In September, a mezuzah was torn off a door frame of the dorm room door of two Jewish graduate students in a residence hall. The incident, according to the university, occurred on the last day of the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah.

A campus investigation was unable to identify who was responsible for the incident. However, campus officials determined the incident was a hate crime.

Last year, Stanford issued an extensive apology for its treatment of Jewish students in the 1950s following a report released by a task force formed by the institution.

"This ugly component of Stanford's history, confirmed by this new report, is saddening and deeply troubling," wrote President Marc Tessier-Lavigne in a university-wide communication.

While the university had previously denied allegations of anti-Jewish bias for decades, Tessier-Lavigne pledged that Stanford would undertake a comprehensive examination of campus life for current Jewish students and embrace "religious and cultural needs."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.