For the second time in one week, Ithaca College President La Jerne Cornish notified the campus community of a swastika found on campus.
In an Oct. 12 email to the campus community, Cornish said a student reported a swastika etched into the metal inside the Baker Walkway elevator in the James J. Whalen Center for Music. She said the incident was reported to the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management the evening of Oct. 11. Other images were also etched with the swastika.
“This is not — and we cannot allow it to become — acceptable,” Cornish said in the email.
On Oct. 7, Cornish notified the campus community of a swastika that was scratched onto the door of a supply closet for Kosher Kitchen in Terrace Dining Hall. The symbol had been on the door since August 2021 but was not reported until Oct. 6, 2022. The incident is being investigated as a potential hate crime because it is specifically targeted toward a program that supports Jewish students.
The email regarding the Oct. 11 swastika did not specify if it was being investigated as a potential hate crime.
In the Oct. 12 email, Cornish said the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life along with Hillel at Ithaca College are providing counsel for students who were directly impacted by the latest incident in the Baker Walkway elevator. There will be a campus-wide gathering at 5 p.m. Oct. 12 at Muller Chapel.
The Office of Public Safety is investigating the incident and asks anyone who has information to contact the office at 607-274-3333 or to leave an anonymous voicemail message at 607-274-1060. Anyone who witnesses or experiences a bias incident on campus or via social media can file a Bias Impact Report.
Cornish said the college is prioritizing improving diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for all campus community members and the President’s Cabinet is dedicated to making that priority a reality. She said there are plans to develop a campus-wide program on these issues that will take place before Thanksgiving Break and the community will be updated as plans are finalized.
“We understand that you may be focusing right now on a well-deserved fall break, and the opportunity for relaxation and restoration with friends, family and loved ones,” Cornish said in the email. “We face these challenges as a community, and we can only overcome them as a community.”