The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

President Jenkins Condemns Second Incident of Antisemitic Graffiti and Promises to Install More Cameras

A+swastika+was+found+drawn+on+the+inside+of+an+elevator+in+Hathorn+Hall.+This+is+the+second+incident+this+year+where+a+swastika+was+found+drawn+on+school+property.+
Ella Beiser
A swastika was found drawn on the inside of an elevator in Hathorn Hall. This is the second incident this year where a swastika was found drawn on school property.

On March 18, President Garry Jenkins sent an email to the Bates community about a “small swastika” discovered inside one of Hathorn Hall’s elevators. This is the second time this academic year that antisemitic graffiti has been found on the Bates campus. Last semester on Oct. 13, a swastika was drawn inside a bathroom stall in Gillespie Hall — a student dormitory previously known as 280 College Street. In his latest email, Jenkins condemned both incidents as “cowardly acts of antisemitism.”

According to the email, the graffiti was discovered in the late afternoon of Friday, March 15. Jenkins wrote that the college believes the swastika was “placed” in the elevator that afternoon “between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.” Although the email did not provide any information on the individual(s) who found the graffiti, it did mention that the college had “promptly removed and reported” the swastika to the Title IX and Civil Rights Compliance Office as well as Campus Safety. 

Sent two days after the incident, the email does not provide an explanation as to why the Bates community was not notified sooner.

Campus Safety has opened an investigation into the incident to identify those responsible. Addressing the Bates community, Jenkins urged “anyone with information…to speak up” by contracting Campus Safety at 207-786-6254. 

Jenkins fiercely condemned the deployment of this notorious hate symbol as contrary to Bates’ values. In his email, he wrote: “Frankly, we are angry. Bates stands firmly against hatred and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or shared ancestry, and we remain fiercely committed to fostering an environment of inclusivity, respect, and understanding.” He also warned students that such antisemitic graffiti “is not free speech; it is hateful conduct. It is also a criminal act, subject to prosecution.” 

Jenkins informed the community that the college is “taking steps to install more cameras across campus to better identify vandals.” He added that “any person found culpable will be subject to Bates’ established policies and procedures for determining appropriate disciplinary action, which could include dismissal from the college.”

In his earlier Oct. 13 email — sent to the Bates community following the first incident of antisemitic graffiti in Gillespie Hall — Jenkins claimed that Campus Safety was “investigating [the] incident.” Since then, however, the Bates community has not received any updates on the status or outcome of the investigation.  

Students seeking support can contact their Student Support Advisor, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Multifaith Chaplaincy, or the Office of Intercultural Education. Any bias incidents can be reported here or by contacting Gwen Lexow, Associate Vice President for Title IX and Civil Rights Compliance, at 207-786-6445 or [email protected]

This is a developing story. The Bates Student will continue reporting on this as more details become available.  

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Bates Student
$0
$750
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bates College and help us cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Lena LaPierre
Lena LaPierre, Assistant Forum Editor
Lena is a sophomore from Hattiesburg, MS, majoring in History with a minor in Russian. When she is not busy writing essays or memorizing Russian grammar rules, Lena can be found reading, volunteering with College Guild and exploring Maine with her friends. Previously, Lena was a contributing writer for The Bates Student.
Donate to The Bates Student
$0
$750
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All comments must have an attached name and email. Please direct comments to the content of the article; attacking writers in any way, shape or form will not be tolerated. Any comments which do not meet these requirements will not be published.
All The Bates Student Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *