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Serving the GW Community since 1904

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

More swastikas found on door

Four swastikas – each progressively larger in size – have been drawn on the door of a Jewish freshman living in Mitchell Hall.

The perpetrator of the anti-Semitic drawings is still unknown. The University Police Department could not be reached for comment about any ongoing investigations.

The fourth – and largest – swastika was drawn in permanent marker sometime Sunday morning, said Sarah Marshak, the target of the drawings. UPD took pictures and washed the symbol off the door.

On Friday, University President Steven Knapp said in a news release that the swastikas were “an expression of hatred directed against our Jewish students.”

“There is no place for such things at this or any other university,” Knapp said in the release. “We do not condone, and we will not tolerate, the posting of images or texts that vilify any religious, ethnic, or racial group.”

Marshak, who is also a Hatchet reporter, left campus to escape any scrutiny after she found the second swastika, she said.

Marshak said she did not think the first drawing was an attack. After finding four drawings on her door, she said she is reaching to outside organizations for help.

“At this point, I’m taking this past GW,” Marshak said in an interview with The Hatchet. “I am thinking of contacting the Anti-Defamation League. I can’t let this continue.”

On Sunday night, she said she was considering contacting her congressman, Robert Wexler (D-Fla.).

Marshak said she feels more annoyed than threatened.

“I won’t feel threatened until there’s an actual threat on there,” she said.

The swastika drawings appeared just weeks after a satirical poster campaign offended a slew of Muslim students in the GW community. Knapp released a similar statement after the posters were found.

Knapp expressed his continued faith in the student body in light of the recent controversies.

“I remain confident that such acts do not represent the sentiments of our student body,” Knapp said in Friday’s release.

Rob Fishman, executive director of Hillel, said the perpetrators must be found and that hatred on campus must be stopped.

After the first swastika appeared, Fishman said the drawing was an isolated incident and not a trend. He added the symbol could have a larger impact at GW because of the University’s significant Jewish population.

“The swastika is a symbol of hate, and the placement of the swastika on a student door becomes a hate crime,” Fishman said.

Fishman championed GW as a school that accepts diversity and said these events do not reflect the University as a whole.

“We believe that GW is a university that embraces diversity, and that for the most part students are respectful of each other’s differences,” he said.

Fishman said he hoped that the drawings were just a foolish act done by a student who does not understand the impact of the symbol. He said although there is relatively low rate of hatred directed towards GW’s Jewish population, this most recent incident must be investigated.

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