Swastika discovered on campus

A swastika was found in a Mount Holyoke residence hall. President Stephens discusses both the ongoing investigation and resources for the community.

The Mount Holyoke College seal

October 7, 2021

Dear members of the Mount Holyoke community,

Yesterday evening, at around 6:30 pm, a Nazi swastika was found on a mirror in an all-gender bathroom at 1837 Hall. Public Safety and Service was alerted very quickly and acted immediately to remove the symbol and initiate an investigation. If you have any information about this incident, please contact Marcella Runell Hall, vice president of student life and dean of students. 

While this ancient symbol is present in many cultures with a range of spiritual meanings, it is also commonly associated with the murderous legacy of the Nazi regime, and has become a symbol of antisemitism, hate and white supremacy.

The College’s leadership team and I understand the harm and fear this symbol has provoked on our campus, at the heart of our residential community and in the lives of our Jewish students, faculty, staff and alums. We join you in both anger and grief and condemn in the strongest terms this provocation and all symbols of hate, which have no place on our campus. 

Members of the College administration met last night with student leaders in the Jewish Student Union and key staff in Community and Belonging, and we are working together to coordinate action and support.

  • Vice presidents Kijua Sanders-McMurtry and Marcella Runell Hall will be available this afternoon in the Unity Center between 3:00 and 5:00 pm.
  • Dean Hall will send information about additional opportunities for gathering and resources to students later today.
  • The Counseling Services 24/7 Hotline can be reached at 413-538-2037.
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to reach out to the Employee Assistance Program at 888-881-5462.

Incidents of bias insensitivity and discrimination should always be reported by either the Campus Insensitivity Reporting Form or by contacting Public Safety and Service. The College is launching a full investigation and will share appropriate information with the community regarding findings. 

We extend to the Jewish community of Mount Holyoke College, and everywhere, our heartfelt support, our love and compassion and our solidarity with you.