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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac officials discover second swastika in mail center in 15 days

Cameron Levasseur
Quinnipiac University officials removed two the three missing locker doors in Quinnipiac University’s York Hill Campus mail center due to antisemitic graffiti.

For the second time in a little more than two weeks, Quinnipiac University officials on Tuesday discovered a swastika scratched into a mail locker on the York Hill Campus.

Campus officials found near-identical antisemitic graffiti in the mail center 15 days earlier. 

“Such hate speech is abhorrent, it can be threatening, and it violates our code of conduct and character at QU,” Provost Debra Liebowitz and Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett wrote in an email to the Quinnipiac community Wednesday. 

Located in a high-traffic area of the Rocky Top Student Center, the first-floor mail center stores all packages sent to students residing on the York Hill Campus. The smart package lockers are part of a randomized distribution system and are not assigned to individual students.

Facilities staff removed both vandalized locker doors.

“The campus will spare no effort identifying and disciplining the perpetrator(s),” Liebowitz and Ellett wrote. “QU Public Safety is working with Hamden Police who are also investigating.”

Liebowitz and Ellett noted that Public Safety “has also stepped up its security protocols out of extra precaution.”

The university declined to make Chief of Public Safety Tony Reyes available for comment. Quinnipiac is not releasing any additional information at this time. 

In a statement to The Chronicle on Wednesday, the Student Government Association’s executive board “strongly” condemned the recent vandalism.

“Symbols of hate have no place at Quinnipiac University,” the executive board wrote. “We stand in solidarity with members of the Quinnipiac community who have been impacted by these disturbing events and intend to work with the proper authorities to evaluate and ensure that our campus is safe and inclusive.”  

Quinnipiac officials did not initially notify students or faculty about the Nov. 13 incident. However, President Judy Olian released a statement Monday — two weeks after the first incident — urging students to engage in “thoughtful, challenging and even divisive discussions with civility and moral awareness.”

To be clear, even though one can legally engage in certain behaviors, even offensive or hostile behaviors under America’s protections for freedom of speech, it does not mean that one should,” Olian wrote in the Nov. 27 statement. “We should not, and cannot, regress into harassment or group stereotyping, blame or anger against an entire group, and worse yet, conjure age-old antisemitic or Islamophobic tropes or symbols that evoke violence.”

Olian did not specifically mention the swastika incident in her statement but noted that “the divisiveness of the Israel-Hamas war, in particular, has seeped into universities.”

The Anti-Defamation League documented 124 on-campus incidents of antisemitism in the U.S. in the month following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel — a 933% increase from the same month last year. An additional 80 Islamophobic incidents occurred on university campuses in the U.S. between Oct. 9 and Nov. 6, according to Muslim Campus Life.

“Support services are available — students are encouraged to contact campus counseling services at 203-407-4020,” Liebowitz and Ellett wrote. “Faculty and staff can access the Health Advocate employee assistance program (EAP) at 866-799-2728.”  

Liebowitz and Ellett urged individuals with information pertaining to the investigation to call or text the Department of Public Safety’s confidential tip line at 203-582-6201.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Alex Martinakova contributed to this reporting.

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Cat Murphy
Cat Murphy, News Editor
Cameron Levasseur
Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

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