Georgetown investigates swastikas on campus

WASHINGTON — Police at the Georgetown University campus are investigating a pair of incidents this week in which swastikas were discovered on elevators inside two residence halls.

In the first incident Tuesday, a swastika was carved into an elevator wall.

Two swastikas were found painted in another elevator the following day.

“The intent of the people who do this is to delegitimize or even create a threatening environment for folks, but they will not succeed,” said Doron Ezickson, D.C.’s regional director for the Anti-Defamation League.

Several university officials have condemned the incidents in messages to the campus community.

Students from both political parties also spoke out.

“Georgetown University College Democrats and Georgetown University College Republicans denounce these symbols of hatred and anti-Semitism,” they said. “We remind all Hoyas, especially the new Hoyas, that Georgetown stands for inclusivity and has no place for bigotry.”

Ezickson said his group was pleased to see a rapid response by the administration, police and others.

“Particularly, after the events of Charlottesville, I think there is a broad understanding and sensitivity to the importance of the majority of people to stand up and to state unequivocally that this does not represent the values of the university,” he said.

Violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month when white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters ahead of a rally surrounding the planned removal of a Confederate statue.

Georgetown University President John DeGioia sent a message to students before the start of the academic year, referencing the incident and calling for unity.

“As we prepare to return to campus, we are faced with the tragic events in Charlottesville — a painful reminder of the enduring legacies of slavery and segregation in our nation, and of our obligation to reject hatred, racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and all ideologies and manifestations of white nationalism and white supremacy.”

DeGioia went on to call the university “a community of diversity, of extraordinary talents, intent on addressing social and racial justice.”

This latest incident is similar to others that happened recently at Georgetown.

In May, anti-Semitic graffiti was found near a Jewish gathering space.

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