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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, Hamden police investigating on-campus antisemitic vandalism for third time in three months

A+swastika+and+other+anti-Jewish+hate+symbols+carved+into+a+bathroom+stall+in+M%26T+Bank+Arena+on+Feb.+27.+Vandalism+accounted+for+40%25+of+campus+crimes+in+February.
Aidan Sheedy
A swastika and other anti-Jewish hate symbols carved into a bathroom stall in M&T Bank Arena on Feb. 27. Vandalism accounted for 40% of campus crimes in February.

Quinnipiac University officials and local police are investigating another incident of on-campus antisemitic vandalism after discovering a swastika and other anti-Jewish hate symbols scratched into a bathroom stall in M&T Bank Arena on Tuesday.

This is the third such investigation since November, when campus officials discovered swastikas scratched into mail lockers in the Rocky Top Student Center. The pattern of antisemitic graffiti is indicative of the national rise in hate incidents — particularly on college campuses — amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza. 

In a Feb. 27 email to the Quinnipiac community, Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett and Chief of Public Safety Tony Reyes said the Department of Public Safety is working alongside the Hamden Police Department to identify and discipline the perpetrators” of Tuesday’s incident. Public Safety has also increased its on-campus security presence in the wake of the incident as an “extra precaution.”

“Such hate speech is abhorrent, it can be threatening, and it violates QU’s code of conduct,” Ellett and Reyes wrote.

Widely regarded as a symbol of anti-Jewish sentiment and white supremacy, the swastika is one of the most recognizable hate symbols in the West. 

However, photos of the vandalized bathroom stall in M&T Bank Arena show that swastika symbols accounted for only part of the antisemitic graffiti. 

At least two other specifically anti-Jewish phrases — “Hitler” and “1488” — were carved into the stall door.

The latter is a combination of the numeric symbols “14” and “88,” two prominent white supremacist dog whistles. The “14” is a shorthand reference to the “14 words slogan” — “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” — and the “88” is a numerical code for “Heil Hitler.”

The phrase “YE 24” — a reference to the musician formerly known as Kanye West — scratched into a bathroom stall in M&T Bank Arena. The Anti-Defamation League found that “references to Ye, often paired with swastikas or other antisemitic slurs, have become mainstream shorthand for the hatred of — or a desire to commit violence against — Jewish people.” (Aidan Sheedy)

The graffiti also included the phrase “YE 24,” an apparent reference to the American musician formerly known as Kanye West. Ye has made headlines in recent years for a series of antisemitic outbursts, including an October 2022 social media post in which he threatened to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” 

The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism subsequently found that antisemitic incidents regularly invoked Ye’s name, noting that “references to Ye, often paired with swastikas or other antisemitic slurs, have become mainstream shorthand for the hatred of — or a desire to commit violence against — Jewish people.”

Ellett and Reyes encouraged individuals with information pertaining to the incident to contact Public Safety’s confidential tip line at (203) 582-6201. 

“Hate speech and symbols that evoke violence have no place anywhere and will not be tolerated,” Ellett and Reyes wrote. “They aren’t who we are or aspire to be.”

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Cat Murphy, News Editor
Aidan Sheedy, Photography Editor

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