•  

Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 18, 2019   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Swastika reportedly drawn outside dorm room in Tallcott Hall

A swastika was reportedly drawn on a whiteboard on a dorm room door in Tallcott Hall on April 20 at Ithaca College.

Freshman Nathan Ehrlich said he came home around 2:30 a.m. April 20 to find a swastika symbol drawn on the whiteboard on the outside of his dorm room door. When Ehrlich saw it, he said that he took a picture, texted his resident assistant and then erased it.

“It was pretty shocking,” he said. “I’ve never had a huge history with anti-Semitism or having to experience it, which I’m pretty thankful for.”

Tom Dunn, associate director in the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management, confirmed in an email that an individual reported a swastika drawing on their door to Public Safety. Dunn said the incident took place between 11:30 p.m. April 19 and 2:15 a.m. April 20.

Freshman Nathan Ehrlich said he saw the swastika on the white board on his dorm room door when he returned to his room around 2:30 a.m. April 20. Courtesy of Nathan Ehrlich

Ehrlich’s roommate, freshman Ethan Jones, told him he had not seen the symbol before he went to bed around 11:30 p.m. that night.

Ehrlich said his RA told him to report the incident to Public Safety. Ehrlich said that he is Jewish but that he does not think the drawing was aimed at him as an attack.

“I don’t know anyone who would do this as a personal attack against me,” he said. “I don’t really talk about my religion that openly. I think it was a just random thing.”

Ehrlich said this is the first time he has experienced any form of anti-Semitism on the college’s campus.

“That symbol has a lot more meaning to it than people kind of give it credit for, and sometimes people think it’s funny to make edgy jokes like that, … it’s just not funny,” Ehrlich said. “For a lot of people, it scares them.”

Dunn said this is the first time someone has reported swastika graffiti on campus in the 2018–19 academic year. In the 2017–18 academic year, there were two reports of swastikas being drawn on campus.

Dunn said Public Safety is investigating the incident and looking to identify the person responsible. Anyone with information about the event is encouraged to contact Public Safety at 607-274-3333 or leave an anonymous voicemail at 607-274-1060.

Krissy Waite can be reached at kwaite@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @krissy_waite