Racial Slur Discovered On Campus, In Same Week As Swastika Found in Dealy Hall

Racial Slur Discovered On Campus, In Same Week As Swastika Found in Dealy Hall

This article is breaking and will be updated as new information comes to light.

Aislinn Keely and Hannah Gonzalez

A swastika was found on a desk in Dealy Hall on Tuesday, according to a university-wide correspondence from Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university. A professor reported the incident to Public Safety after a student found the symbol. On Thursday afternoon, McShane released an updated university response statement addressing a racial slur that had since been found on the underside of a table on the Rose Hill campus. Bob Howe, assistant vice president for communications, did not specify what slur was used.

Both incidents are now in the hands of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, after Public Safety notified the NYPD. Public Safety also removed the desk from the classroom.

In his updated response, McShane stated that the perpetrators of these crimes, if identified, will face university disciplinary proceedings in addition to criminal charges. He included the contact information of the Office of Public Safety for anyone with information on the incidents.

Both incidents are being aggressively investigated by the NYPD and our own Public Safety department,” said McShane.

McShane also addressed the crimes in the context of the current wave of bomb threats occurring across the nation.

“This is a time when each of us can feel alone or, as I hope, we can come together as a campus community,” said McShane in his updated response. “That means that we must leave outside the gates of this campus the hateful emotions and division we see across the country.”

McShane emphasized the importance of the university’s response at all levels. He closed by expressing his belief in the necessity of addressing these crimes, despite the potential of proliferating hateful messages.

“I know that giving attention to each incident runs the risk of spreading the hateful messages more widely, but I feel strongly that such actions cannot go unaddressed,” said McShane. “An attack on one group is an attack on us all: be assured that I and the leadership of Fordham take such acts very seriously.

In his original letter, McShane said the university will continue to uphold its Jesuit mission and foster mutual respect within the community.

“Such behavior has no place on our campus or in the heart of any Fordham woman or man,” said McShane.

McShane’s letter also provided points of contact for students to report information or to discuss the incident and its implications for individuals and the community as a whole. The letter pointed towards resident assistants, commuter assistants, Office of Multicultural Affairs staff, the chief diversity officer and resident ministers as places of support. It also referred the community to the Bias/Hate crimes page on the Fordham website for additional resources on bias incidents.

These incidents come after a swastika was found in a Tierney Hall bathroom last September. In the fall of 2015, the symbol was also found in a Lincoln Center bathroom. In both cases, the incidents were also referred to the NYPD.