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February 23, 2016 6:51 pm

Major Jewish Group Calls for Response by Rutgers U to Swastika on Ceiling of Campus Apartment

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The swastika Sara Rosen found on the ceiling of her apartment. The Jewish student said she is upset with the way the school "handled the situation." Photo: Facebook.

The swastika Sara Rosen found on the ceiling of her apartment. The Jewish student said she is upset with the way the school “handled the situation.” Photo: Facebook.

A major US Jewish organization on Tuesday urged Rutgers University to respond to a Jewish student’s discovery of a swastika on the ceiling of her campus apartment, The Algemeiner has learned.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in a released statement that the New Jersey university, which has not yet publicly condemned the posting of the antisemitic symbol, must “make clear that such incidents have no place on its campus.”

“Schools must provide safe environments which facilitate learning and understanding among students from diverse backgrounds,” said Joshua Cohen, ADL New Jersey regional director. “Incidents like the one at Ms. Rosen’s residence hall not only need to be investigated expeditiously and the findings communicated to the campus community, but the university should also take the important step of making a strong public statement condemning this incident. Rutgers leadership must let students, as well as the broader community, know that these acts will not be tolerated.”

Psychology major Sara Rosen found the swastika on the ceiling of her apartment on the evening of Jan. 15, upon returning home from the gym, The Algemeiner previously reported. One of Rosen’s roommates, a School of Engineering senior, admitted to pasting the swastika, but said it was the result of a “sudden impulse of ‘altruistic’ intent” — as a display of his Buddhist faith.

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Rosen said she is dissatisfied with how the university treated the incident. She felt like she was “not being taken seriously enough” by the school’s Office of Student Conduct. “No one was listening to a word I was saying, period,” she said. The Jewish student shared with The Algemeiner a letter she sent weeks ago to the Office of Student Conduct, as well as to Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, in which she called the swastika display “hateful and contemptible.”

“No student should walk into an empty room and see a swastika, a KKK symbol, a confederate flag with a cross burning… a student should never be exposed to symbolism of hate,” she wrote in the letter. “I see no rational explanation for this behavior, this display…One of my Muslim friends put it best, ‘I am not even of your faith, and I am offended and feel assaulted.'”

Rosen wrote that she believes the culprit behind the swastika display knew she was Jewish, “acted in a reprehensible manner and should be severely sanctioned.” She called on the school to “deal with this matter effectively.” She told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that the university has not taken any action against the incident and that her roommate has yet to be sanctioned for taping the swastika on the ceiling.

Rosen said that since going public with the incident, people from all over the country, of all races and religions, have reached out to her saying they have gone through similar situations.

“They solemnly mentioned ‘things being swept under the table,'” she said. “They expressed their anger and disappointment in how these situations have been handled. This can go on no longer.”

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