Antisemitic swastika graffitied at Massachusetts college

The act of vandalism is the third antisemitic incident reported at the women's college this fall.

Mary Lyon Hall, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, US, 2016. (photo credit: KENNETH C. ZIRKEL/CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA)
Mary Lyon Hall, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, US, 2016.
(photo credit: KENNETH C. ZIRKEL/CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA)

A bathroom at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts was vandalized with graffiti of a swastika and antisemitic epithets earlier this week, New England Cable News (NECN) reported on Thursday.

The graffiti was written in black on a bathroom tile, the report said.

The act of vandalism is the third antisemitic incident reported at the women's college this fall, the report said, citing the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). 

In October, the ADL was alerted to two incidents involving swastikas drawn in dorm bathrooms, NECN added.

Mount Holyoke Jewish Student Union Secretary Natalie Glick was not surprised by the latest act of vandalism, saying, “I think every Jewish student in this country just waits for this to happen. It literally happens at every college campus," according to the student newspaper Mount Holyoke News.

Swastika on a wall (illustrative) (credit: INGIMAGE)Swastika on a wall (illustrative) (credit: INGIMAGE)

Glick noted that she had personally experienced being singled out as a Jew on campus, describing a class she took in which a professor called on her to speak about Israel because she was Jewish and Israel was her "ancestral homeland."

She said that the experience made her feel extremely uncomfortable and that “People [on campus] are not ready to have the conversation about [how] antisemitism is more than just being a Nazi.”

Campus Public Safety and Service Director Raymond LaBarre said that authorities quickly responded to the latest incident and an investigation is currently underway.

JSU co-chair Giovanna Wiseman praised the university's response but noted that antisemitism is not taught about in the college's anti-bias training for faculty members.

According to Mount Holyoke News, JSU is planning to host speakers who will address antisemitism at its annual BOOM! conference on diversity, but the paper noted that this isn't guaranteed to educate people about antisemitism, as attending the event is voluntary.