Multiple swastikas were found painted inside an LXR Hall women’s restroom, alongside language threatening violence against women, in two separate incidents Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
The swastika with misogynistic threats was first found painted inside the stall of a second-floor LXR women’s restroom Wednesday night. The graffiti was reported to the Georgetown University Police Department, which increased patrols in the areas around residence halls after the incident.
A second, similar act of vandalism was discovered in the same room the next day. A university spokesperson said GUPD has increased surveillance in LXR and is investigating the incidents with the help of the Metropolitan Police Department.
“Perpetrators will be held fully responsible, in conjunction with Georgetown’s Code of Conduct. They could face additional criminal charges following the GUPD and MPD’s investigation of these incidents,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Georgetown University strongly condemns acts of hatred, racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, sexism, and Islamophobia.”
The incidents mark the third and fourth occurrences of anti-Semitic graffiti this semester. Three of the four instances were in LXR common areas and involved swastikas painted in red.
Two swastikas were previously found painted inside an LXR elevator Sept. 6, and one swastika was found carved onto the wall of a Village C West elevator the day before.
A group of students responded to Wednesday night’s incident with messages of solidarity written in chalk in Red Square — a “countergraffiti” effort organized early Thursday morning by members of the Jewish Student Alliance.
JSA President Claire Goldberg (COL ’19) said she was in bed when she was woken by texts from Jewish friends about the incident.
“At first, it was like, ‘How did I know it was this again?’” Goldberg said. “A couple people came up with the idea of countergraffiti. Something positive. Something to show Jews at Georgetown are not going to sit back and whimper when something like this happens. And we will not be weak, and we will not be victimized by some punk in LXR.”
In a campuswide email condemning Wednesday night’s incident, University President John J. DeGioia called it an “abhorrent act of anti-Semitism.”
“There is never a time or place for these acts, and this incident is even more disturbing during Rosh Hashanah. We stand in solidarity with our Jewish community and strongly condemn this act of hate, anti-Semitism, and sexism,” DeGioia wrote. “Those found responsible for these acts of hate will be held fully accountable for their actions.”
DeGioia reiterated calls for students to report any relevant information to campus police and report any future bias-related incidents.
Kamar Mack (COL ’19), president of the Georgetown University Student Association, called for the expulsion of any student or students found responsible for the vandalism in a statement, writing that the move would “send a message that Georgetown does not tolerate acts of hatred on our campus.”
“Frustratingly, this cycle of anti-Semitism and condemnation has become routine on our campus over the last few weeks,” Mack wrote.
GUSA also plans to collaborate with GUPD to “promote a ‘See Something, Say Something’ culture” on campus and develop more programming for interreligious understanding.
“Most importantly, we invite Jewish students and all other students to let us know how else we can best support you and be your partner in bringing about change on campus,” Mack wrote.
At least eight bias-related incidents were announced by email to the university community in the 2016-17 academic year, including anti-Semitic graffiti found near the Makóm Jewish gathering space in Leavey Center in May, the removal of Muslim and Hindu flyers from chaplain-in-residence bulletin boards in March and two reported off-campus assaults on students wearing hijabs in November.
This is a developing story. This post will be updated as more information becomes available.
Hoya Staff Writer Marina Pitofsky contributed to this report.