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April 25, 2023 9:19 am

Swastika Carved Into Dartmouth ‘Green’ Common Space


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Baker-Berry Library at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Photo Credit: Cindi/Flickr.

An unknown person or group carved a swastika into dirt on The Green of Dartmouth College, a a five- acre, grassy common space at the center of the school’s campus.

Dartmouth’s provost office confirmed that incident took place on Thursday, The Dartmouth reported on Friday. Officials had the symbol removed, which appeared just several days after the campus community observed Holocaust Remembrance Day, “immediately,” the paper said.

“Antisemitism has been on the rise in the US and has no place at Dartmouth,” the provost office wrote in an email sent to students and staff.

Thursday’s incident marks Dartmouth’s first antisemitic incident on the Green since a former student, Carlos Wilcox, vandalized a a public menorah on campus by shooting it with a pellet gun during the 2020 Hanukkah holiday.

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The 20-year-old Bronx, New York native also shot the windows of several college buildings, causing $1,500 in damage in total. Wilcox, who managed to dodge a hate crime charge and was charged with felony criminal mischief, was expelled from the college and banned from campus.

In April 2022, according to The Dartmouth, he reached an agreement with the prosecutors of Grafton County, where Dartmouth is located, under which the charges against him were dropped in exchange for his paying the college $2, ooo in damages, completing 100 hours of community service, and attending substance abuse counseling. Wilcox was also ordered to meet with Dartmouth Chabad Rabbi Moshe Leib Gray and other members of the campus community.

Throughout the process, he maintained his innocence, claiming that another student, Zachary Wang, shot the menorah and that he only purchased the pellet gun and witnessed the incident.

Several antisemitic incidents have occurred recently at other colleges and universities across the country.

In March, a Jewish Stanford University student found an image of Hitler and swastikas on their door, an offense the Stanford University Department of Public Safety classified as a hate crime. Previous antisemitic incidents at Stanford University — which, in the 20th century, was a leading producer of research in eugenics and actively prevented the admission of Jewish students — in the last year include the removal of an Israeli flag from a display of others from across the world and the desecration of a mezuzah belonging to a graduate student. Most recently, on Feb. 28, someone graffitied swastikas, the n-word, and “KKK” in a men’s bathroom.

Antisemitic incidents in the United States increased 36 percent in 2022, according to an annual audit issued by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in March. Four hundred-and-ninety-four incidents took place on K-12 campuses, and two-hundred-and-nineteen incidents took place at colleges and universities, an increase of 41 percent from the previous year.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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