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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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National organizations rally against GW’s response to swastika drawings

Updated: March 4, 2015 at 7:01 p.m.

A Jewish rights group posted a letter Wednesday asking University President Steven Knapp to issue a formal apology for not addressing the swastikas reportedly drawn in International House two weeks ago.

Nearly 20 national advocacy organizations, including the Zionist Organization of America and StandWithUs, have signed on to support the AMCHA Initiative, a human rights group focused on supporting the Jewish higher education community, in urging GW administrators to address student and faculty concerns surrounding the anti-semitic symbols drawn in the residence hall.

“We are troubled by the University’s response, and join Jewish student leaders on your campus who are calling for the University to better address incidents of campus antisemitism,” the letter reads.

The letter asks the University to investigate the incident as a hate crime. University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said the incident is being investigated as a vandalism case because University police officers do not suspect any individuals were targeted.

“We hope that you will show your students, their parents, GWU alumni, and the larger community that George Washington University stands firmly against bigotry and hatred, including antisemitism, and will protect all members of the campus community,” the letter reads.

Darrell Darnell, the senior associate vice president for safety and security, and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski sent an email to International House residents and their parents Wednesday saying that the person who drew the swastikas had been identified. The person is a GW student who does not live in the building, the email read.

“Please know that we take such matters very seriously,” the email read. “Our goal is that everyone in our community feels included and safe.”

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the organization that coordinated the letter to Knapp is the Louis D. Brandeis Center. It is the AMCHA Initiative. We regret this error.

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