Update: swastikas drawn on women’s bathroom
Anisa Jibrell – News Writer
Seven swastikas were discovered in a women’s bathroom located in the B-wing of Engleman Hall last week. The swastikas were scrawled in black on a door of one of the bathroom stalls , and the door was immediately wiped clean following a report, according assistant Dean of Students and director of student conduct, Christopher Piscitelli.
“We take these matters very seriously,” said Piscitelli. “While we’re not immune to what happens in the large societal world, it is disheartening to see incidents of hate happen on our campus. It is something that we reject wholeheartedly, that we want our students to reject wholeheartedly.”
A swastika is most commonly recognized as an emblem of Nazi Germany that incited terror in Jews and other adversaries of Nazi Germany in the early 1930s following the appointment of Adolf Hitler as German chancellor, according to ushmm.org, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website.
“It’s painful, we feel the pain of our friends when somebody targets a group of people and it’s our job to ease the pain on the short term and it’s our job to help educate the community to eliminate the pain of any group that is unfortunately hurt by the actions of those who are just really bad people,” said Piscitelli. “What else can they be? “
A similar incident occurred in 2010 when a swastika and the “n-word” were written on two bulletin boards in the C-wing of Engleman hall. Prior to that, in 2008, two automobiles on campus were marked with the “n-word” and swastikas, according to a copy of the Diversity and Equity Leadership Council’s meeting notes.
There is no way to determine if the symbols were aimed at someone directly, said Piscitelli, and he urges students to promote concepts of civility and community that exist on campus.
“Communities have to bond together, educate together, learn together and work together for the great cause and when that happens, communities experience really positive movement and that’s what we need to do,” said Piscitelli. “We need to work with our community and we need to helps students understand that this is their community, whether they commute here or whether they live here.”
News of the Nazi symbols has left students like junior political science major, Bryan McCarthy, both shocked and confused.
“It’s childish. I don’t know why grown adults are drawing swastikas in the school. It doesn’t really make any sense, you’re not getting anything out of this,” said McCarthy.
“I think for the most part SCSU is a very tolerant community and I think it’s really sad that kind of hate exists here,” said Miranda Curnane, a junior psychology major.
Piscitelli said he expects the SCSU community to be welcoming, tolerant and open to everyone, but he is not shocked by the incident.
“I don’t know if I can say that I’m shocked. I read a lot about what’s happening in the world pretty regularly and so it doesn’t necessarily shock me to know that we haven’t progressed as far as anyone would have wanted us to,” said Piscitelli, “but it saddens me greatly that we’re still dealing with ignorance and hate. There’s nothing that I’ll tolerate, I’ll spend every day trying to eliminate it. “
Some students are rattled by disbelief while others like junior, Courtney Clark, are overwhelmed with disappointment.
“You would think that all the process that we’ve made as a country nowadays, people would be more open and accepting of others,” said Clark. “But it just shows that even though we’ve made progress there’s still a long way to go.”
Photo Credit: Anisa Jibrell – News Writer