Holding Antisemites Accountable.

Close this search box.

Columbia University Unable to Find Those Responsible for Continued Antisemitic Vandalism


This semester, there have been three reports of swastikas being painted on the 16th floor of East Campus. This is the same floor on which Chinese students’ name tags were burned in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The first incident of antisemitic vandalism was confirmed by administrators in mid-February. The latter two incidents were committed on two separate occasions during the week of March 15, according to an email from Undergraduate Student Life Dean Cristen Kromm.

In her email, Kromm wrote that the swastikas were immediately removed when staff was notified. Last week, Residential Life asked students who had not evacuated campus for information to guide the investigation into the two incidents. As of Tuesday, no disciplinary action has been taken, as administrators are still attempting to find the individuals involved, according to a University spokesperson.

Before the two most recent acts of vandalism had occurred, University President Lee Bollinger had released a statement condemning antisemitism on Columbia’s campus. “When a swastika appears on campus, it is not just an isolated event,” he wrote. “When there is a rising antisemitism in this country and around the world, even a single instance of it in any context is more alarming than it might otherwise be.”

While notifications of bias incidents are typically circulated to all students in Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, this message was only sent to the students who had been approved to stay on campus for the rest of the semester due to travel restrictions or safety concerns in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.