The placing of an antisemitic drawing in a dormitory at Stanford University is being investigated by campus police as a hate crime, officials said.
The drawing, which included “multiple swastikas and an image modified to resemble Adolf Hitler,” was discovered on a whiteboard attached to a Jewish student’s dorm room door Friday, the university said in a statement.
“This incident is being investigated by the Department of Public Safety as a crime motivated by hate. Purposely intimidating and threatening people based on protected identities is antithetical to Stanford’s values,” the statement said. Antisemitism “and other acts of hate and intolerance are unacceptable on this campus.”
Due to the criminal investigation, the drawing isn’t considered protected speech and the person or persons responsible could face legal or disciplinary action, the university said.
The drawing was discovered little more than a week after two other instances of antisemitic and racist vandalism on campus.
Multiple swastikas, the N-word and the letters “KKK” that had been scratched into a metal panel in a men’s bathroom in the History Corner of the Main Quad were discovered on February 28, a previous statement from the school said.
And a swastika with “KKK” surrounding it was carved into the wall of a men’s bathroom stall in Wallenberg Hall on March 3, the statement said.
The previous incidents “do not seem to be related” to the drawing in the dormitory, the university said.
The investigations at Stanford come amid a rise in antisemitic incidents across the country, including the arrest of a man earlier this year in nearby San Francisco after he allegedly fired a replica gun several times inside a synagogue and the shootings of two Jewish men as they were leaving synagogues in Los Angeles.
Those incidents were reported against a backdrop of recent incendiary antisemitic statements, including tweets from Kanye West, signs over a major Los Angeles bridge and messages projected on buildings in Florida.
More than 850 incidents of antisemitic propaganda were recorded last year nationwide, more than doubling the 352 incidents in 2021, according to the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism. That increase comes amid a 38% increase in White supremacist propaganda efforts in the US last year compared to 2021, the center said, including the distribution of racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+ material.
The Stanford dorm where the drawing was discovered will hold a meeting Tuesday to “discuss community impact and next steps for addressing the harm,” the university said.
The school’s Office for Religious and Spiritual Life and Hillel are also available as support systems for students, the statement said.