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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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An eighth swastika found overnight in Mitchell

More than 30 people gathered in Mitchell Hall to discuss the swastikas found on campus and to voice their concerns over media coverage and their personal safety on the eve of a fifth swastika being drawn in the residence hall.

The group, comprised of students from Mitchell Hall, Residential Advisory Council members and representatives from Jewish groups on campus, met to discuss the first four swastikas found in the residence hall. The next morning, another swastika was found on freshman Sarah Marshak’s door.

“(The swastikas) make it hard to be a complete Mitchell community,” said Amber Lewis, a senior and RAC vice president of community standards. “We don’t want to get the reputation of GW being a hate crime university.”

University officials are not yet labeling the swastikas found on campus as a hate crime.

“It is easy to automatically think this is a hate crime and we can’t jump to conclusions,” said Michelle Sherrard, a University spokesperson.

University Police Department Chief Dolores Stafford has not answered several phone calls for comment on the most recent swastikas.

Sherrard said she could not comment on the scope of the University’s investigation into the five swastikas found at Mitchell Hall and the two additional swastikas discovered at Potomac House and on a fence near the GW Hospital. She added that UPD is patrolling every residence hall.

Although Marshak was not present at the Mitchell Hall meeting, students expressed their concern for her and for their own safety.

Many students said if Mitchell had cameras in the halls like neighboring Thurston Hall, the perpetrator or perpetrators could be caught. There are several surveillance cameras on each floor in Potomac House.

Erik Anderson, the community director, said discussions about installing more cameras in Mitchell Hall have been revitalized at the upper levels, but he said he does not know the status of those talks.

Students also voiced concerns over the increasing media coverage, and the effect this has on future incidents.

“Especially after it was in The Hatchet and a lot of people knew about it and (University) President Steven Knapp made a statement, she has become a target because she has been so open about it,” freshman Glenna Schubert said. “It makes me worried that if we keep it on the’s going to spread; it really should not have spread.”

RAC President Justin Hollimon, a sophomore, said students should be encouraged to come forward if they have any information.

He said, “We need to encourage people to speak up.”

Andrew Ramonas contributed to this report.

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