Antisemitic Graffiti Found on Mount Holyoke College Campus Likely Done By Student: School

Mount Holyoke College on Friday reported its third case of antisemitic graffiti since October after finding a hand-drawn swastika and an anti-Jewish slur in a residence hall bathroom.

Peggy Shukur, deputy regional director for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in New England, said the graffiti, written with black marker on bathroom tile, was reported Tuesday by a parent of one of the students at the prestigious Massachusetts women's school.

The ADL received another two reports of swastikas and slurs against Jewish people in October, both in bathrooms in the same residence hall.

According to a statement from the school President Sonya Stephens, the graffiti has been removed and an investigation is in progress.

"Based on all of the information that we have available to us, we believe that these incidents are the acts of an individual Mount Holyoke student who is living on campus," Stephens wrote. "We find abhorrent, and take extremely seriously, such acts of hatred against fellow members of our community."

The statement assured that the school supports its Jewish community, but also expressed an interest in learning the perpetrator's motive so school officials can "understand and purposefully address these acts with any individual involved so that they end immediately."

Stephens added that the school plans to work with organizations to integrate racial justice and antisemitism education into student orientations and employee training.

She said local, state and federal law enforcement are involved in the investigation. She and the school have not disclosed more details in order to keep from disrupting the ongoing investigation.

Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts
Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts reported its third instance of antisemitic graffiti since October and is working with authorities to investigate. Stock Image/Getty Images

"I am compelled to express my deep disappointment and anger that a member of our Mount Holyoke community would commit such harmful and cowardly acts," Stephens wrote.

"The association of the specific drawings found were intended to convey the murderous legacy of the Nazi regime, antisemitism, hate and white supremacy — none of these have any place at Mount Holyoke or in the many international communities of which we are so much a part."

The school has about 2,200 students, according to its website.

There have been several high-profile antisemitic incidents in Massachusetts this year. Last spring, a Massachusetts high school football team was found to be using antisemitic language during its on-field play calling.

In the summer, a rabbi was stabbed outside a Jewish school in Boston and in October, a mezuzah was desecrated at Northeastern University's Hillel House.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.