Antisemitic graffiti found in American University student dorm

Antisemitic graffiti was found in a student dorm at American University in Northwest D.C. Thursday night.

The school said they’re investigating the incident that took place in Letts Hall a Nazi slogan and swastikas were painted on two dorm rooms in which Jewish students reside and inside a bathroom.

University President Sylvia Burwell called the actions “reprehensible” and said that hate speech won’t be tolerated.

“When we are so deeply focused on our community of care ─ supporting each and every member of our community who is in pain and feeling scared and vulnerable ─ it is unacceptable that our Jewish community was targeted and harmed through this act,” Burwell wrote in a letter. “It violates the values that define our community.”

She said that the school will take disciplinary actions against those responsible for these acts and will focus on ensuring the safety and well-being of students.

This comes at a time of increased antisemitic incidents across the D.C. area surrounding the Israel-Hamas war and attacks on Palestine. On Oct. 13, antisemitic graffiti drawn with apparent chocolate sauce was found in the Chantilly High School student parking lot.

“Acts of hate, intimidation, and dehumanization cannot be the way we live together and treat one another. This includes physical threats, as well as online harassment and doxxing,” Burwell said. “No matter your background, ethnicity, or faith, everyone has a right to feel safe.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin, who was a law professor at the university for over 25 years, expressed his disgust about the situation.

“I’m appalled by the Nazi graffiti at American University,” Raskin said on X, formerly Twitter. “Antisemitism and racism are gateways to the destruction of democracy; universities must act.”

Burwell said anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the school’s police department at 202-885-2999.

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