Campus Graffiti Incident

12 October 2017

Dear Carleton students, faculty, and staff:

We are deeply saddened to report that a swastika was recently found drawn on a chalkboard in Boliou 140. This noxious symbol of Nazism and hatred was apparently added to an instructor’s class notes left on the board in that room sometime between the class session on Wednesday, September 27, and the next session on Monday, October 2. This incident comes at a time when other college and university campuses have unfortunately also experienced similar graffiti. As we continue to try to learn more about the incident and its intent, we wanted to reach out to the campus.

First, we wish to convey very clearly that such an expression of intimidation and hatred is deeply at odds with Carleton’s core values of respect for others and inclusivity. Leaving a swastika in a classroom is not part of any thoughtful exchange of ideas.

Second, we are of course investigating this incident carefully, and to that end would ask that anyone with any information related to this act please contact the Dean of Students Office (x4075) or Campus Security (x4444).

Third, at Carleton we aim to promote respectful dialogue to share diverse viewpoints and perspectives, to explore commonalities and differences, and to better understand the important places where we disagree. Such conversations can lead to deeper understanding of and respect for one another. This incident reinforces the value of events being hosted this week and next by the Office of Intercultural and International Life and the Humanities Center, which are exploring the abhorrent actions and statements of Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other purveyors of hatred in Charlottesville this summer. We encourage community members to attend these sessions. In addition, we will continue to seek and plan further opportunities for members of the Carleton community to discuss the impact of these issues on all of us.

Finally, Carleton’s Community, Equity and Diversity Initiative (CEDI), in consultation with the offices of the Dean of Students, Dean of the College, Human Resources, and the Carleton Student Association will look at the question of how best to collect and share information about specific incidents reported to the College (such as this graffiti) more broadly across campus in ways that can be helpful and contribute to campus dialogue. We would like recommendations from this effort by the end of Winter term, 2018.

In closing, we wish to reiterate that such expressions of hatred have no place in our community, which values respect and inclusivity.

We all have a responsibility for calling out these types of incidents and standing up for our shared community values.

Steven G. Poskanzer, President
Beverly Nagel, Dean of the College
Carolyn H. Livingston, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Jeff Ondich, Faculty President
Walter Paul ‘18, CSA President
Joe Chihade, CEDI Co-Chair
Kathy Evertz, CEDI Co-Chair

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