ITHACA, N.Y.—Ithaca College is investigating anti-Semitic vandalism that was found on a storage room door on campus.

In a message to the campus community, school president La Jerne Terry Cornish said she was “dismayed” over the incident. The swastika was reported on Oct. 6, found on a storage room door beneath Terrace Dining Hall, where supplies are kept for the school’s Kosher Kitchen—further amplifying the anti-Semitism of the gesture.

The swastika itself is not new, but it’s apparently the first time it has been reported to the school’s administration. Cornish said the person who reported the graffiti relayed that the swastika had been there since August 2021, though it is unclear why it took so long for the mark to be reported.

“The Office of Public Safety is investigating the incident as a hate crime due to the location of the swastika and it being targeted specifically toward members of our Jewish community,” she wrote. “While the person reporting it said that the symbol had been there since August of 2021, this news will understandably raise fresh pain and fear.”

IC Director of Public Relations David Maley said Monday that the investigation is continuing, but that no new information has been uncovered so far. The incident brings to mind a spree of mostly anti-Semitic graffiti that appeared around Ithaca in October 2020, for which one person was eventually arrested.

Cornish continued that the incident was particularly disheartening in light of the recent Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, though she reiterated that the symbol appears to have been there for over a year beforehand.

“Antisemitic, racist, and other threatening symbols, words, behaviors, and ideologies are unacceptable and should find no home on our campus,” she wrote. “We must all recommit to the values of respect, equity, and accountability, so that all members of our campus community can live and learn in an environment in which they feel safe and secure.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com