Antisemitic graffiti found in UC Davis residence hall; among many racist incidents on NorCal campuses this fall

Antisemitic graffiti was found at a UC Davis residence hall, according to officials. It’s one of several recent racist incidents found around Northern California campuses including Sac State and American River College.

A swastika drawing was found in Alder Hall, which is for first-year students, and was immediately removed, the chancellor said in a release.

“I condemn those cowards who once more have tried to intimidate our students. We are seeing a rise in antisemitism not only on our campus but at many other universities in California, and the Anti-Defamation League has reported an alarming rise in antisemitism overall,” UC Davis Chancellor Gary May said.

Earlier this semester, antisemitic banners were hung on campus across a bicycle overpass. A similar incident had just happened the weekend prior too.

One student who is involved in the Jewish community on campus said this is the first time this year that there have been swastikas on campus.

“That’s the first time we’ve seen it at least close to Davis this past year with that kind of more right-leaning, Semitism, the Holocaust denial all of that,” said Carly Klinger, event coordinator with Aggies for Israel. “We saw it twice in August. They only told us as a student body that it happened once, but then in closer meetings with the Jewish student coalition and the chancellor they did it admit that it happened twice.”

The school said it is working with campus leaders and students in the Jewish community to work on showing their support and identify actions to address the antisemitism.

“The perpetrators of these crimes do not in any way embody the values of UC Davis. We will always stand strong against hate,” the statement read.

School officials ask anyone with information about graffiti or any other incidents to call the campus police department at 530-752-1727.

Other incidents at NorCal campuses

The swastika found  on UC Davis’ campus is one of a recent uptick in racist incidents across schools this year.

At Sacramento State’s campus, officials have found three Nazi swastika hate symbols around campus last month.

And American River College in Sacramento County told KCRA 3 that swastika graffiti was found in a campus bathroom last month. The graffiti was later removed.

New law makes it a crime to use hate symbols on campuses

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation last month to crack down on hate crimes.

AB 2282 equalizes penalties and strengthens restrictions for those who burn crosses and use swastikas and nooses. It also expanded the restricted locations, which now include K-12 schools and college campuses.

“California will not tolerate violence terrorizing any of our communities, and this measure updates state law to punish the use of universally recognized symbols of hate equally and to the fullest extent of the law,” Newsom said at the time of the bill signing.

KCRA 3 has been looking into reports of bias-related incidents in Sacramento. The number of such incidents nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021 and increased more than five times since 2017, according to data from the police department.

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