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April 27, 2022 4:05 pm

Charlotte, NC University Investigating Series of Swastikas Found in Dorms

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Queens University of Charlotte. Photo: Bz3rk/Wikimedia Commons.

Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina is working with local police to investigate several incidents of swastika graffiti in its residence halls.

The symbols were found on a “common space whiteboard” and the doors of students’ dormitories, according to a statement the university issued on Monday.

“The images used are despicable and do not reflect or represent our institutional values. They are in violation of our Honor Code, and we denounce them,” a university spokesperson said, posting on Facebook. “A full investigation is ongoing in partnership with law enforcement.”

The university encouraged students with knowledge of the incidents to contact campus police and the dean’s office, which will accept anonymous reports. It also announced an “Interfaith Gathering” that took place on Monday evening at the school’s Trexler Courtyard.

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“Hate has no place here. We, as a Queens community, stand for fostering knowledge and cultivating relationships among people with different world views, championing the dignity of all people, and working together to create a more equitable present and future,” the university continued. “We hope you will join us in standing up for one another and for the larger Queens community.”

On Monday, Rabbi Judy Schindler Wallach, the university’s Sklut Professor of Jewish Studies, told a local news CBS affiliate that “the act of one individual or perhaps two individuals who scrawled these hateful symbols can be so devastating and shatter the sense of security for so many students.”

“It’s devastating when you have an act of hate aimed at you, a part of your identity, and I pray it will not happen to anyone else,” Wallach said.

Antisemitic hate crimes, including harassment and vandalism, more than doubled in North Carolina in 2021, rising 130%, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League. In December, Jewish community members in Greensboro decried the distribution of antisemitic flyers that said, “Every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish.”

In March, 39 North Carolina legislators sponsored the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (State Bill 439), a bill that would mandate law enforcement to record hate crimes in a state database and require police officers and prosecutors to receive training how to investigate hate crimes and respond to their victims. It was introduced in the North Carolina House of Representatives on March 22 but still awaits further consideration.

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